The last thing you surrender

by Pitts, Leonard,

Format: Print Book [2019]
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 11 copies
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Summary
Could you find the courage to do what's right in a world on fire?

Pulitzer-winning journalist and bestselling novelist ( Freeman ) Leonard Pitts, Jr.'s new historical page-turner is a great American tale of race and war, following three characters from the Jim Crow South as they face the enormous changes World War II triggers in the United States.

An affluent white marine survives Pearl Harbor at the cost of a black messman's life only to be sent, wracked with guilt, to the Pacific and taken prisoner by the Japanese . . . a young black woman, widowed by the same events at Pearl, finds unexpected opportunity and a dangerous friendship in a segregated Alabama shipyard feeding the war . . . a black man, who as a child saw his parents brutally lynched, is conscripted to fight Nazis for a country he despises and discovers a new kindof patriotism in the all-black 761st Tank Battalion.

Set against a backdrop of violent racial conflict on both the front lines and the home front, The Last Thing You Surrender explores the powerful moral struggles of individuals from a divided nation. What does it take to change someone's mind about race? What does it take for a country and a people to move forward, transformed?
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Marine Private George Simon, who is white, would have perished in the attack on Pearl Harbor were it not for the selfless, heroic efforts of Gordy, a Black messman who loses his own life in the process. Feeling indebted to Gordy, George offers his condolences to Gordy's widow, Thelma, who cleans house for a white family in George's hometown of Mobile, Alabama. Thelma and her brother, Luther, are deeply scarred, having witnessed as young children the lynching and burning of their parents. When George is deployed to the Pacific theater, he maintains a correspondence with Thelma. The action follows George from his nightmarish experiences at Guadalcanal to his imprisonment at a Nagasaki internment camp while the war effort affords Thelma the rare opportunity to secure work at a shipyard. Luther is drafted into an all-Black tank battalion and sent to Europe, where he will witness unspeakable atrocities. Each character discovers previously unimaginable depths of humankind's inhumanity. Pitts (Grant Park, 2015), also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, seamlessly integrates impressive research into a compelling tale of America at war overseas, at home, and within as the characters struggle to find the better angels of their natures. Pitts poignantly illustrates ongoing racial and class tensions and offers hope that Americans can overcome hatred by refusing to sacrifice dignity.--Bill Kelly Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Pitts (Grant Park), a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, turns again to America's fraught history of race relations in this unflinching, gritty WWII saga. It centers on a trio of finely drawn characters, two black and one white, all from Alabama, whose worlds collide because of Pearl Harbor. Marine Private George Simon-wealthy, religious, white-survives the sinking of his ship because Eric Gordy, a black messman, rescues him. Eric dies, and while George recuperates, he pays a condolence call on Eric's widow, Thelma. She and her brother, Luther Hayes, a bitter alcoholic, are living with the memory of their parents' lynching 20 years earlier. George and Thelma begin a correspondence after he returns to active duty; she takes a job in a shipyard. Luther, deciding this is a white man's war, tries to evade the draft but ends up serving with a tank battalion in Europe. George endures horrific conditions in the Pacific as Thelma faces growing racial hostility at work, culminating in a brutal moment of violence that compels her to make a difficult decision. While remaining true to his characters, Pitts brings the story lines to realistic conclusions even as he holds out hope for the future, resulting in a polished, affecting novel. Agent: Janelle Walden Agyeman, Marie Brown Assoc. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects African Americans -- Fiction.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Fiction.
Social change -- Fiction.
Southern States -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Publisher Chicago :[2019]
Language English
Notes Includes reading group guide (pages 509-511).
Description 511 pages ; 22 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 503-507).
ISBN 9781572842458
1572842458
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