Lost prophet : the life and times of Bayard Rustin

by John D'Emilio

Paperback, 2004



Call number



University Of Chicago Press (2004), Paperback, 592 pages

Media reviews

BAYARD RUSTIN became famous for working behind the scenes. This paradox of his celebrity was, to a large degree, inherent in the role he chose to play in the history of his time. From the end of the Great Depression to his death in 1987, at the age of 75, Rustin was the ''master strategist of social change,'' as the historian John D'Emilio writes in his biography, ''Lost Prophet.'' The tactics of public protest that became familiar in the 1960's -- marches on Washington, Freedom Rides, sit-ins, passive resistance, civil disobedience -- were pioneered and refined by Rustin two decades earlier. Indeed, through his decisive influence on Martin Luther King Jr., whom he instructed in the philosophy and tactics of Gandhian nonviolence, Rustin created the model for the social movements of post-World War II America -- civil rights, antiwar, gay liberation, feminist. ''He resurrected mass peaceful protest from the graveyard in which cold war anti-Communism had buried it,'' D'Emilio writes, ''and made it once again a vibrant expression of citizen rights in a free society.''

User reviews

LibraryThing member kidzdoc
Bayard Rustin was one of Dr. Martin Luther King's most trusted and valued advisors, but he was marginalized by others in the movement, as he was a Communist and an openly gay man. He played a vital role in several key points of the movement, and this excellent book brings his previously hidden story to life.
LibraryThing member Sullywriter
A first-rate biography of the greatly underappreciated pacifist and Civil Rights leader. Revealing, insightful, and compelling.

Original publication date



0226142698 / 9780226142692

Call number



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