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My Mantelpiece: A Memoir of Survival and Social Justice
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My Mantelpiece: A Memoir of Survival and Social Justice

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Carolyn Goodman's life was punctuated by tragedy, including a brothers premature death, childhood molestation, a fathers suicide, and a sons infamous murder. But hers is foremost a tale of survival, of turning personal anguish into social conscience. When her twenty-year-old son, Andy, was one of three civil rights volunteers to disappear in Mississippi in the summer of 19 ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published May 1st 2014 by Why Not Books (first published April 23rd 2014)
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Ivy Pittman-Outen
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As the world witnesses war, poverty, and police brutality, Carolyn Goodman's story in My Mantelpiece: A Memoir of Survival and Social Justice of the pain she lived though and pulled herself out to become a national spokesperson on peace and justice is one which should be required reading for all of us. The strength she found to live in spite of living through her father's suicide, her son's murder, and the death of two husbands, is an amazing story about faith and finding hope just when you thin ...more
Jun 21, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a good, quick, but in some ways an oddly unsatisfying read. This memoir skimmed over, not only the devastating loss of her son in a famous murder of the Civil Rights era, but his entire life which I would gave liked to hear more about. I learned more about Andy's dad and brothers than I did about him. I only got a glimpse of how his killing changed the author's life, though it must have. She mentions that toward the end of her life she was involved in more and more social justice causes ...more
I read this for the 2021 Popsugar Challenge prompt "a book about a social justice issue". It is written in the first person as a memoir, although apparently she had some help from Brad Herzog who is listed as an additional author. Carolyn Goodman was the mother of Andy Goodman, one of the three civil rights workers killed in Philadelphia Mississippi during the summer of 1964. The book tells the story of her life and motivation to fight for social justice issues, including of course the murder of ...more
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book, written by Brad Herzog, after spending much time with Carolyn Goodman is amazing. This is a piece of our history that was huge but to hear it from a Mothers perspective is amazing. Carolyn Goodman was a strong woman who instilled social justice in her three children. Although she would have preferred that Andy not go into Mississippi during the Freedom Train she knew she could not stop him and still be true to her own beliefs. Brad came to the Pacific Grove Library to do a reading fro ...more
Dana Sweeney
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Andy [Goodman] has retaught us an old truth: that although we live and die alone, our personal happiness and destinies are inextricably linked; that none of us is free unless all are free; that we must demand not only comfort but also justice...

"So there's a responsibility on every one of us and you can't walk out of it... The question is not whether Andrew Goodman is dead; the question is whether we are dead or whether through his life and death we come alive."

A moving memoir for a remarkable
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Every now and then I read a memoir where I wish I could have known the author personally. Carolyn Goodman is one of those people. She overcame the suicide of her father, the murder of her son, who was an equal rights activist in the 60's and was killed in Mississippi, and the natural death of her husband, to become an activist herself and a mentor to young activists who advocated for human rights for all people. She was even arrested at a protest when she was 83 years old. I loved what her son s ...more
Aug 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Not sure if it's fair to rate a book only 3 stars because it wasn't what i expected it to be, but that 's my reasoning. I had anticipated that I would learn more about the cause that her son championed and resulted in him ultimately sacrificing his life. I did learn some details of his mission and ultimate demise, however I learned considerably more details about how noble Carolyn Goodman was. Had this been written in third person rather than first person point of view I think I would be less cr ...more
David A Opfer Jr
A great book to read! Very well documented and told!

I would recommend this book to anyone going through A hard time in life! The author paints a picture of her struggles and triumphs with class!
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Carolyn Goodman was raised by emotionally distant parents, and endured many tragedies, but ultimately, this is a story of personal growth and survival. When she was a child, her older brother died, and her parents never thought to speak with her about the incident. Basically, no one spoke of anything in her house. it took until half way through the book before I realized that she had two younger siblings! For all the ways that her parents did not support her when she was growing up, she tried to ...more
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
There is nothing about the Civil Rights Movement that can't make me cry: even the uplifting inspirational speeches and triumphs make me cry since part of me is and always will be horrified at how humans hate one another. And then act on it. Carolyn Goodman's son Andy was one of the three civil rights workers that were brutally killed at the beginning of the Freedom Summer in 1964, and Andy had been in Mississippi for less than 2 days. I think this woman's life was far more fascinating than this ...more
Lindsay Forness
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
The memoir of a Mother of a slain Civil Rights worker and written by a family friend, Brad Herzog, it is a moving tribute to a person and a movement. I learned more about the US civil rights scene of the 60s and much, much more about the dedication of not only the three slain young men, but also the work that Carolyn Goodman and her husband did their whole adult lives. This book makes you take stock of your life. Fairly quick read.
Susan Follett
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
MY MANTELPIECE is a powerful testament to the power of story-based resources in teaching history. Carolyn Goodman, mother of civil rights worker Andrew Goodman slain in Mississippi during Freedom Summer 1964, reveals her life of heartbreaks and joys, challenges and gifts with stunning candor and insight.
Theresa Malloy Lemickson
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is an autobiography about the activist Carolyn Goodman whose son Andrew Goodmand was one of the white men killed in the Freedom Summer by the KKK for trying to help. Carolyn recently passed away, so the book is put together by another writer. If anything, I wish there was more about her life and struggles. A remarkable woman and very quick read.
Michele Hohlfeld
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
While I did not find the book particularly well-written, this memoir is an important story. Carolyn's son was murdered by Klansman during the civil rights movement in the 60's and she continued his work throughout her life. Highly recommend this one. ...more
Harolyn Legg
Apr 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
I thought this was going to focus on her son who was killed in Mississippi in the Civil Rights movement - more about her and how miserable she was w/her life.
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Memoirs and Biogr...: Giveaway: Memoir, foreword by Maya Angelou 3 30 Mar 25, 2014 12:31PM  

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