The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. 

From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.

Title:The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780679444329
Format Type:

    The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration Reviews

  • Brina

    In 1994 Isabel Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for journalism, making her the first African American woman to do so. Upon receiving this prestigious award, Wilkerson, a daughter of migrants, paused t...

  • JJ

    Thinking back, I tried to recall some of the migrations that took place within America that I had learned about:- The Gold Rush- The Dustbowl MigrationSomewhere along the lines, my teachers forgot to ...

  • Jason

    This is going to sound a little weird, but throughout my reading of The Warmth of Other Suns, which is primarily about the migration of black Americans from the Jim Crow South to western and northern ...

  • Glenn Sumi

    Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth Of Other Suns is one of those rare books that cracks open the world and makes you see everything you thought you knew in a different light.The Pulitzer Prize-winning jo...

  • Jo

    I wish I had it in my power to make this book required reading for everyone, at least all students. When we cringe at the horrors waged against others in the world today, we need to remember our own n...

  • Beata

    When I requested this particular book, I had one goal: to learn about the Great Migration and the Jim Crow aspect. These were the terms I often came across while reading my friends’ reviews or some ...

  • Mary

    I loved this book on several levels--though with one caveat. First and foremost, by narrating the lives of three very different participants in the Great Migration, Wilkerson fleshes out an important ...

  • Anne Bogel

    This was excellent, and I'm so glad I finally took the time to read this justifiably long and essential read about a slice of forgotten American history detailing the decades-long migration of almost ...

  • Esil

    After listening to The Warmth of Other Suns for close to two months in 40 minute increments on my walk to work every morning, the main thing I want to say is WOW. This book is extraordinary in so many...

  • Christy

    An excellent social history that I finally got to and through with the therapy of staring for days at the rocky Maine coast for a week! I knew it would sucker-punch me, as it did. I flashbacked on how...