True South: Henry Hampton and "Eyes on the Prize," the Landmark Television Series That Reframed the Civil Rights Movement

By Jon Else
"[TRUE SOUTH] does several things at once. On one level, it's a biography . . . On another, it's a lucid recap of many of the signal events of the civil rights movement . . . A warm and intelligent book."--The New York Times
"No one is better suited to write this moving account of perhaps the greatest American documentary series ever made. . . . [Else] tells the story with the compassion and eloquence it deserves."--Adam Hochschild, author of KING LEOPOLD'S GHOST, BURY THE CHAINS, and TO END ALL WARS

The inside story of Eyes on the Prize, one of the most important and influential TV shows in history. Published on the 30th anniversary of the initial broadcast, which reached 100 million viewers.
Henry Hampton's 1987 landmark multipart television series, Eyes on the Prize, an eloquent, plainspoken chronicle of the civil rights movement, is now the classic narrative of that history. Before Hampton, the movement's history had been written or filmed by whites and weighted heavily toward Dr. King's telegenic leadership. Eyes on the Prize told the story from the point of view of ordinary people inside the civil rights movement. Hampton shifted the focus from victimization to strength, from white saviors to black courage. He recovered and permanently fixed the images we now all remember (but had been lost at the time)--Selma and Montgomery, pickets and fire hoses, ballot boxes and mass meetings.
Jon Else was Hampton's series producer and his moving book focuses on the tumultuous eighteen months in 1985 and 1986 when Eyes on the Prize was finally created. It's a point where many wires cross: the new telling of African American history, the complex mechanics of documentary making, the rise of social justice film, and the politics of television. And because Else, like Hampton and many of the key staffers, was himself a veteran of the movement, his book braids together battle tales from their own experiences as civil rights workers in the south in the 1960s.
Hampton was not afraid to show the movement's raw realities: conflicts between secular and religious leaders, the shift toward black power and armed black resistance in the face of savage white violence. It is all on the screen, and the fight to get it all into the films was at times as ferocious as the history being depicted. Henry Hampton utterly changed the way social history is told, taught, and remembered today.


    REVIEW QUOTES
"It's hard to imagine a better person than Mr. Else to tell this story. . . . His book does several things at once. On one level, it's a biography of Mr. Hampton . . . On another, it's a lucid recap of many of the signal events of the civil rights movement. . . . True South is a series of braided stories that are each well told . . . [A] warm and intelligent book." --Dwight Garner, The New York Times "Distinguished documentarian and MacArthur fellow Else has written a hard-driving, avidly detailed, and dramatic history of the making of Eyes on the Prize, the pioneering 1987 television documentary series about the civil rights movement. . . . With its many hooks and avenues, compelling portraits, and thought-provoking revelations, this in-depth chronicle of the making of a defining civil rights documentary is an invaluable and timely work."--Booklist, (starred review) "No one is better suited to write this moving account of perhaps the greatest American documentary series ever made. Jon Else helped film it, and, two decades earlier, as a civil rights worker in the South, he lived through part of the history involved. He tells the story with the compassion and eloquence it deserves." --Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost, Bury the Chains, and To End All Wars "True South is the powerful story of a singular black man, Henry Hampton, who combined film and social activism to create the first people's history of the civil rights movement. Jon Else's insight into Hampton's struggle to record and show history to a world in denial calls attention to Eyes on the Prize as a true American epic. It is hard not to be moved by this account--by both its author's and its subject's contributions to our society. This is truly great and important book, a magisterial chronicle of how we tell the story of the civil rights movement." --Errol Morris, Academy Award winning director of The Fog of War and The Thin Blue Line " Eyes on the Prize chronicled the small towns and back roads of the Deep South where the civil rights movement took root and flourished. Jon Else takes readers behind the scenes in the decades-long journey of the late Henry Hampton, Eyes' visionary creator, and the motley team of us who ended up making history by telling this history. True South captures the blood, sweat and tears of ordinary Americans who fundamentally changed America, and the extraordinary spirit and heart of a man committed to making sure their sacrifice was remembered." --Callie Crossley, Academy-award-nominated producer of the "Bridge to Freedom" episode of Eyes on the Prize "Jon Else tells the amazing story of how independent filmmaker Henry Hampton overcame enormous obstacles to create the landmark documentary series, Eyes on the Prize. Written by a key member of Hampton's team, True South sheds light on the decade-long effort to transform American history during a crucial period of racial change into moving images that have shaped American historical understanding." --Clayborne Carson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Professor of history, Stanford University "In detailing the financial struggle involved and the arduous process of finding interviewees and eliciting their stories, Else reveals the complexities of any such production. An illuminating look at racial strife and TV history." --Kirkus Reviews
No one is better suited to write this moving account of perhaps the greatest American documentary series ever made. Jon Else helped film it, and, two decades earlier, as a civil rights worker in the South, he lived through part of the history involved. He tells the story with the compassion and eloquence it deserves. Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost, Bury the Chains, and To End All Wars True South is the powerful story of a singular black man, Henry Hampton, who combined film and social activism to create the first people s history of the civil rights movement. Jon Else s insight into Hampton s struggle to record and show history to a world in denial calls attention to Eyes on the Prize as a true American epic. It is hard not to be moved by this account by both its author s and its subject s contributions to our society. This is truly great and important book, a magisterial chronicle of how we tell the story of the civil rights movement. Errol Morris, Academy Award winning director of The Fog of War and The Thin Blue Line Eyes on the Prize chronicled the small towns and back roads of the Deep South where the civil rights movement took root and flourished. Jon Else takes readers behind the scenes in the decades-long journey of the late Henry Hampton, Eyes visionary creator, and the motley team of us who ended up making history by telling this history. True South captures the blood, sweat and tears of ordinary Americans who fundamentally changed America, and the extraordinary spirit and heart of a man committed to making sure their sacrifice was remembered. Callie Crossley, Academy-award-nominated producer of the "Bridge to Freedom" episode of Eyes on the Prize Jon Else tells the amazing story of how independent filmmaker Henry Hampton overcame enormous obstacles to create the landmark documentary series, Eyes on the Prize. Written by a key member of Hampton's team, True South sheds light on the decade-long effort to transform American history during a crucial period of racial change into moving images that have shaped American historical understanding. --Clayborne Carson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Professor of history, Stanford University "In detailing the financial struggle involved and the arduous process of finding interviewees and eliciting their stories, Else reveals the complexities of any such production. An illuminating look at racial strife and TV history." Kirkus Reviews"



    SHARE THIS
Embedicon
 
9781101980934
eBook

  Choose a format

Price: $24.00/ea
LIST PRICE: $30.00

Bulk Hardcover Non-returnable Discounts
Quantity Price Discount
1 - 24 $24.00 20%
25 - 99 $18.60 38%
100 - 249 $18.00 40%
250 - 499 $17.40 42%
500 - 999 $17.10 43%
ISBN: 9781101980934

About the Hardcover

Publisher Viking
Publish date 01/24/2017
Pages 416
ISBN-13 9781101980934
ISBN-10 1101980931
Language English

Need 1000 or more?

Additional discounts may be available for print books. We also offer pricing for RETURNABLE orders. Please call 1-800-236-7323 or email us to request a quote.