The Central High Crisis, from various perspectives 

The University of Arkansas Press has released several new titles to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Central High desegregation.

In “Race, Politics, and Memory” (University of Arkansas Press, $19.95 paper, $59.95 cloth) editors Catherine M. Lewis and J. Richard Lewis examine the crisis through a documentary lens, compiling scores of primary source documents — newspaper articles, political cartoons, letters, speeches and memoirs — over a century-long span. The book includes editorials from Harry Ashmore, excerpts of interviews the FBI conducted during the crisis, excerpts of interviews with most of the key players and more contemporary materials that contemplate the legacy of the crisis.

“Beyond Little Rock: The Origins and Legacies of the Central High Crisis” (University of Arkansas Press, $19.95 paper, $59.95 cloth) collects eight essays by British historian John Kirk that seek to put the crisis in the larger context of the civil rights movement. Kirk takes on topics like the New Deal; early African-American politics and mobilization; the role of white liberals; race in relation to city planning policy; and the role of gender in the struggle. Minnijean Brown Trickey contributes the foreword.

To coincide with the anniversary, UA Press has reprinted Daisy Bates' memoir, “The Long Shadow of Little Rock,” ($17.95 paper), with a new afterword by Clayborne Carson, the founding director of the Martin Luther Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.

El Dorado native Richard Mason explores more bucolic territory in his first novel, “The Red Scarf,” (August House, $14.95 hardcover). The loosely autobiographical coming-of-age story is set in South Arkansas during the 1940s. It's geared towards middle-school-age readers.


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