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Bending Toward Justice: The Birmingham Church Bombing that Changed the Course of Civil Rights

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  29 reviews
The story of the decades-long fight to bring justice to the victims of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, culminating in Sen. Doug Jones' prosecution of the last living bombers.

On September 15, 1963, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed. The blast killed four young girls and injured twenty-two others. The FBI suspected four particularly ra
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ebook, 400 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by All Points Books
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4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  107 ratings  ·  29 reviews


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Bob H
The story is a compelling one: the 1963 murder, by bombing, of four little African-American girls in their Birmingham church. This is Doug Jones' personal account of his prosecution, in 2001 and 2002 as U.S. Attorney in Alabama, of the last two defendants. This book centers on the crime, the tumultuous period of civil rights conflict in those early years, and, further on, the long-delayed investigation and trial.

This book is an "as told to" account, understandably, since Doug Jones is, as of lat
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Andy Miller
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doug Jones was the prosecutor who convicted two of the Klansman for their bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama, murdering four girls getting ready for Sunday School. The bombing was in 1963, his first prosecution was 37 years later, the second prosecution after that.
I admire Jones, in both his book and in the trials, for keeping focus on the four murdered girls; Carole Robertson, Addie May Collins, Cynthia Morris Wesley, and Carol Denise McNair. Like any good prosecuto
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Gina
Part memoir of a new senator, part true crime on the investigation and prosecution of the bombers responsible for the 16th St Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, AL in 1963, and part political analysis/commentary, Jones' book is an interesting examination of both then and now in Alabama with larger national implications. Despite learning about the bombing as a child in Alabama history, this book made me realize how very little I truly know about the events or the eventually prosecutions. This ...more
Deb Stern
I have to be honest, I could only stomach half of this book. I am glad Senator Jones has gotten all the details of this awful event recorded for generations to come. However, the subject matter is so sickening, it has put me in a very bad mood. I did not grow up in the south, so I only knew the surface of racism. I was clueless to the ugliness of racism taken to extremes. I think Senator Jones is to be commended for growing into a free thinking adult, and not letting the poison of his hometown c ...more
Leia
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just read it.
Jeremy Woods
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019!
Joel
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great history of a terrible case

Alabama Senator Doug Jones helped to prosecute two of the bombers of the Birmingham 16th Street Church in 1963. While it took nearly 40 years, his team was able to bring justice for the 4 girls kilos that day. This book is part personal memoir and part legal history. It shows that homegrown terrorism is not new in this country, but also that good people can defeat evil. Great book!
Ashley
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I Liked:
- fairly easy to read
- it goes beyond just the trials, Jones talks about his early life and his life after the bombing trials
- not super long

What I Wasn’t A Fan Of:
- although I enjoyed the parts about things outside of the trials, the book was completely marketed as the story of the trials so I feel it was a little misleading to not market it as more of a memoir about Jones’ career that was mostly focused on the trials rather than a history book about just the bombing and trials
- I
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Wendy
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wendy by: Goodreads Giveaway
Shelves: history
Set in the volatile atmosphere of Birmingham Alabama sparked by change with a 1954 Supreme Court ruling on the unconstitutional precedent of black and white separate schools, “Bending Towards Justice” follows the racial anxiety and unrest that finally burst with the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963 that killed 4 young black girls. Reopening the case years later, Alabama Attorney General William Baxley sought justice for the murdered girls with the conviction of Klu Klux Klan suspect ...more
Michelle Adamo
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Bending Toward Justice" is a detailed, yet highly readable account of the the righting of a terrible wrong. An untoward miscarriage of justice reflected in our nations tragic history of racism. The crime: the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL caused the death of 4 innocent little girls and the injury of 22 others. The perpetrators were believed to be local members of the Ku Klux Klan who were unhappy about, among other things, the upcoming integration of the City’ ...more
Lesley  Parker
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Everydayreader1
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Doug Jones tells the story of his prosecution of two of the KKK men who, on September 15, 1963, were responsible for the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, with resulted in the murder of four young girls and the injury of more than twenty other people. In 2018, Doug Jones was elected by the people of Alabama to represent the state in the United States Senate. In this book, he also tells that story, as well as that of his childhood and family life.


I found this book

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Sharon Griffitts
When the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church happened in 1963 I was the same age as two of those girls- fourteen. In fact they were born the same month as I was - April. At the time it was a horrible thing which I did not understand how or why anyone could do such a thing.

By the time of the trials I was living in Alabama and had a better idea of the why and how. When I read Doug Jones was presenting his book in Birmingham in that very church I knew I had to be there. It was an informative
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Bonnie
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doug Jones was the Attorney General who prosecuted the remaining bombers decades after they ) the bomb that killed four girls at church, and seriously wounded a fifth. This is the story of that prosecution in the context of racism that facilitated the attack. It moved me to tears at times. It's not uniformly gripping, and I lost track of the many people he talks about, but I really liked it (and you can always skim). Jones is also good on the need for Democrats not to write off the South as just ...more
Katie
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Justice At Last

Such a powerful story of how important justice is no matter how long it may take. Victims, their families and their communities deserve it. Totally relevant to our current state of affairs in this country. Doug Jones’ commitment, loyalty to his community and the girls’ families is truly inspirational. The book does a great job of detailing the climate of Birmingham in Jim Crow Alabama as well as modern day. I could’ve done with a little less of the political journey portion of th
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Aishuu
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This isn't bad for a "I want to be President" book, but it's really two stories - one about the role Doug Jones played in prosecution of the Church Bombing, and another about his campaign bid as Senator (and laying out his politics in a manner reminiscent of all potential presidential/vice presidential books). It was carefully written to make no enemies (full of praise for individuals involved except for the suspects and some of the less palatable witnesses), along with talking about being "good ...more
Kristen Mcknight
While I learned a lot about the tragic history of the killing by the KKK of 4 young girls at a church in Birmingham, AL in 1963, the book was (for me anyway) more of a research project for the author. It was heavy in details that seemed to be repeated from one chapter to the next. I skimmed through much of the second half of the book.
I would not recommend it unless someone wanted a thorough history of this church bombing or was doing research on the subject.
Mary Entriken
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doug Jones is a dedicated public servant who believes in “justice for all”. He explains in detail the search for the KKK members of who bombed the Baptist church in Birmingham in 1963. It took years to finally have enough evidence to try and convict the 4 men who were responsible for this hate-filled crime. Jones gives the reader insight into the legal struggles the black communities face in the south.
An important read. I think everyone would benefit from reading this book.
Jennifer Hawes
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sen. Doug Jones offers a fascinating insider look at prosecuting two of the three KKK members convicted for involvement in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963. Unlike many books by national political figures, Jones avoids falling into self-congratulations and instead does a fine job of explaining the racial-political climate of Birmingham at the time, then following the long slog of time that passes before the victims' families see any justice.
Phil Hardin
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great book. The determination of lawyer Doug Jones to bring justice to the despicable church bombing crime thirty nine years later is amazing and most commendable.
It is truly a shame that hatred toward a certain race can result in such terrible acts which are a most embarrassing part of our country’s history.
Cindy
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Audio version was my choice. Enjoyed hearing author read his own book. I kept up with his election which was first
reason I was interested I book. Great history of Birmingham trial and details of events leading up to it. Highly recommend particularly for those into history.
Shannan Harper
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before being elected to the US senate, Senator Jones was instrumental in prosecuting and successfully convicting two of the still living men who were part of killing four little African American girls on September 15, 1963
Chuck
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doug Jones not only covers the trial of two of the perpetrators of the Birmingham Church Bombing whom he prosecuted in 2001 and 2002 but comments on the current political state of affairs. A timely read.
Steve Cozza
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An important contribution to the history of the 1963 Birmingham Church bombing and its continual impact on our American Dream.
Tom Barksdale
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent writing by a straight thinker.

Excellent writing by a straight thinker. Necessary summary of the trials of the bombers. Doug Jones as a candidate for president??
Bev
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a brilliantly written book, but such an important story!
Nancy Hollingsworth
I am grateful for every person who bravely challenges injustices.
Norm Prusinski
rated it it was amazing
Apr 10, 2019
Alan
rated it liked it
Mar 26, 2019
Richard Marteeny
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May 02, 2019
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Doug Jones is a US Senator who has made finding common ground a hallmark of his tenure. In 2017, he became the first Democrat to win a Senate election in Alabama since 1992. As U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 1997 to 2001, Jones prosecuted two former Ku Klux Klan members for their roles in the racially-motivated 1963 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing that took the lives of ...more