Life is so good? This BOOK is so good! After picking it up & putting it down a couple times, only reaching a page or two in, I finally sat down one evening with a dedicated hour to read. At 1:30am that night I finally closed the last chapter and daydreamed about all I had read. What a wonderful man. I am not African American, but his experiences drew me back to everything I know about my own grandfathers' lives. The farming, the poverty, the strength of mind and spirit. The way America must have looked and felt in the early part of the 20th century. I am so grateful that the library chose this book for Ann Arbor Reads. I might not have noticed it otherwise, and would have missed a completely enriching experience. This one is going on my shelves.
This isn't a quick read; it offers lots to absorb and as the memoir of a bright but illiterate man, the narrative doesn't always move smoothly. Its appeal lies in the basic realism and goodness of a man who lived through US nastiness at its worst and somehow emerged as a better person. His attitude and life offer inspiration for all of us, especially those prone to complaining. I wish I could have met him. This book should be required reading for every US history student, for every voter, and especially for anyone seeking public office.