Dick Lehr

The Birth of a Nation

How a Legendary Filmmaker and a Crusading Editor Reignited America's Civil War

PublicAffairs 2014

New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in American StudiesNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in FilmNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books Network December 19, 2014 Joel W. Tscherne

Many books on film discuss the artistic aspects of movies, often as they relate to social and political events that affected the filmmakers. In...

Many books on film discuss the artistic aspects of movies, often as they relate to social and political events that affected the filmmakers. In his book The Birth of a Nation: How a Legendary Filmmaker and a Crusading Editor Reignited America’s Civil War (PublicAffairs, 2014), journalist/professor Dick Lehr uses a controversial film to tell a bigger story about one of the first civil rights leaders of the 20th century.

Lehr presents a fascinating account of how African American journalist Monroe Trotter tried to get D. W. Griffith’s landmark film banned in Boston. He describes how the film’s release was an important aspect about how Trotter became a key participant in the nascent civil rights movement.

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