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His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  4,813 ratings  ·  818 reviews
An intimate and inspiring portrait of civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman John Lewis, linking his life to the quest for justice in America from the 1950s to the present--from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Soul of America

John Lewis, who at age twenty-five marched in Selma, Alabama, and was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, is a visionary and a man
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published September 1st 2020 by Random House
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Maureen The book is about the late Congressman John Lewis and his work in the Civil Rights Movement about 1956-1968.

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Diane S ☔
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nfr-2020
It is hard to accept that in such A relatively short space of time , two wonderful people like John Lewis and RBG have been taken from us. Two who represented the best of society and politics. The best of us.

John Lewis was a man of deep faith, a man who wanted to improve the lives of his people, and did it peacefully, legally. He was beaten, thrown in prison, yet his resolve never wavered. Meacham due a fine job showing us what compelled him on to this path and what he hoped to accomplish. He w
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Part history, part philosophical tome, His Truth is Marching On gives us John Lewis’s story as a civil rights activist. Arrested 45 times in his life, Lewis was a strong proponent of the nonviolent approach to political change. Even as times and opinions changed, he stood by his creed of nonviolence and a faith in a “beloved community”.
Jon Meachum was granted numerous interviews with Lewis and we truly get to see the soul of the man. Deeply religious, he felt called to put his life on the line
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have decided to embark on a mission to read a number of books on subjects that will be of great importance to the upcoming 2020 US Presidential Election. Many of these will focus on actors intricately involved in the process, in hopes that I can understand them better and, perhaps, educate others with the power to cast a ballot. I am, as always, open to serious recommendations from anyone who has a book I might like to include in the process.

This is Book #1 in my 2020 US Election Preparation
Aug 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
His Truth Is Marching On is, to my knowledge, the first book to be released since the passing of civil rights activist and Member of Congress, John Lewis. In this book the author Jon Meacham calls Lewis, as others have also begun to do, an American Founding Father of the 20th/21st Centuries and a saint, because of his willingness to suffer and potentially die for others. This book is not a traditional cradle to the grave biography, it mostly covers Lewis’s civil rights years.

It begins by coverin
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"I couldn't accept the way things were, I just couldn't." -- John Lewis

A few pages into this book, I thought I wouldn't be able to finish it, much less give it five stars. Indeed, I felt a bit... bamboozled... by the heavy religious content of the first section of the book, for which I did not think the blurb prepared me. While I have nothing against Christian books, I was not raised in that faith, and don't tend to read anything marketed as Christian literature. But the first section of this bo
May 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is about John Lewis not Jon Meacham. Yet, I could not help reflecting on Meacham’s journey as well. His perceptive insights into our nation’s turning points has evolved into an investigation of the “American soul.” https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Here he brings to us an uplifting saga of a civil rights leader who has had a profound influence on our lives. I didn’t realize in how many ways, until having read this book.

I believe it helped to have recently read Du Bois’ The Souls
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Finished this book 2 minutes ago and wanted to send my feedback while it’s still raw and fresh in my mind. As a Middle Aged white woman who has lived her whole life ensconced in the northern part of the country in NJ, I didn’t organically learn much about the civil rights movement. In school it was touched on of course, and we learned who MLK Jr was, and Malcolm X. And truly I’ve spent 50 years not knowing much about the movement or the names of the countless others involved in the sacrifices an ...more
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jon Meacham writes that the late John Lewis was an American saint and was a "founding father to todays American ethnicity."
After reading "His Truth is Marching On", I would have to say that Meacham has made a strong case to support this.
John Lewis was born into a deeply segregated South. In his first thirty years on earth he would participate in Freedom Rides, Sit-ins and Marches. All in pursuit of racial equality and justice. Not only did he participate in the March on Washington, he was the fi
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Brown v. Board of Education, May 1954 – it was only Act One of a movement still in progress. While Thurgood Marshall was one of the voices urging caution, fearing needless bloodshed, the much younger John Lewis saw urgency in moving directly from the courts to society's institutions.

August 1955, fourteen year old Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi. December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested launching the Montgomery Bus Boycott. September 1957, Federal troops were dispatched to Central High
His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope was a beautiful book by historian Jon Meacham about one of the civil rights movement's greatest warriors, John Robert Lewis. From his courageous sit-ins to integrate lunch counters and movie theaters in Nashville during the Jim Crow era in the South to his participation in the Freedom Rides to his march from Selma over the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday, Jon Meacham brings the story of this beautiful man and the civil rights movem ...more
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've heard Jon Meacham speak on TV, and I like his historical perspectives since I'm a history buff. So, I thought I'd read his new biography on John Lewis. Though it isn't a full-scale biography, Meacham covers John Lewis' eventful years during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Meacham writes well and includes literary quotes in his narrative. He includes interesting details, some of them humorous. He also quotes extensively from John Lewis, so I got a better feel for him. A lot of the ma ...more
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
The day of John Lewis' death I began reading the egalley for His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and The Power of Hope by Jon Meacham.

It was a hard book to read, and heartbreaking, for Lewis was willing to lay down his life to achieve a just society, and he faced the most vicious violence.

Lewis has left behind a country still divided and angry, the dream of a Beloved Community unfulfilled. The struggle for the promise of America continues.

Meacham writes, "John Robert Lewis embodied the traits
His Truth Is Marching on: John Lewis and the Power of Hope
By Jon Meacham, John Lewis (Afterword)

One of humanity’s immovable bastions of hope and future progress has moved on to the next part of his journey. . .John Lewis. The author of His Truth Is Marching on: John Lewis and the Power of Hope has provided us a way to review this man’s life journey and goals within the context of his time, experiences and those carried forward by his people as they raised him up. At the end of his life, he has
Helga Cohen
Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize winning author, described John Lewis as a saint in our time in this terrific book. He was a believer in the command that one should love one’s neighbor as oneself. He risked his life for his beliefs. He was a Freedom rider involved in sit ins, marched in Selma, Alabama at age 25 and beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge and followed the visionary beliefs of Martin Luther King. He learned that non-violence was a philosophy and biblical command.

He said: “We marched for
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
John Lewis' life could fill hundreds and hundreds of pages. Jon Meacham's book "His Truth is Marching On" focuses on Lewis' major life events surrounding the fight for civil rights. While much is known by many about the overall highlights of Jon's life- the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, his speech on the March on Washington (though overshadowed by King's "I Have a Dream" speech, his long tenure in Congress, Meacham expands on these events as well as other significant events in John's li ...more
Alan Tomkins-Raney
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book finished strong, especially the afterword written by Lewis himself just before his death. Lewis's persistent faith in the Beloved Community, an interracial democracy, and in the principles and power of non-violence moved me deeply. I must say, though, that this book was not what I expected. It is not a biography of John Lewis, per se, but rather a history of the civil rights movement from 1955 to 1968, with an emphasis on Lewis's role in it. Very educational and very edifying, this boo ...more
Apr 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Every US citizen, definitely, and to readers who can dismiss pointless throwaway lines.
The subject itself here - the life of Civil Rights Leader John Lewis-soars into the heavens. But I'm reviewing Meacham's book, not John Lewis (a saint among humans if there ever was one-so 5 STARS TO LEWIS himself!). Simply put: this book is oddly mixed on subjects covered. There ARE many great anecdotes here, true. Lewis says, "It seemed extremely contradictory to me for President [Lyndon] Johnson to be sending tens of thousands of troops to fight this war in Vietnam to 'protect the rights' of ...more
I learned a lot more than I thought I would.
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Lewis was a civil rights icon and a man of faith whose story is “as important to the story of our nation as any of our Founding Fathers.” Great grandson of a slave and son of sharecroppers, he did not abandon his faith even after being arrested at a Nashville lunch counter, being assaulted by violent mobs on the Freedom Rides, or nearly killed on the Pettus Bridge marching in Selma, AL.

As a young reporter in 1992, Meacham asked Lewis what it was like to have traveled so far—wasn’t it harde
Steven Z.
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
When John R. Lewis died recently, part of America’s conscience passed with him. With all the turbulence, chaos, lies, and antipathy toward race that is endemic to the Trump administration it makes every day difficult. A case in point was yesterday in Kenosha, WI when Trump refused to acknowledge the shooting of Jacob Blake by police and his subsequent paralysis or his support for Kyle Rittenhouse, the seventeen year old AR-15 carrying killer of two men. For me this has led to despair as I do not ...more
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Based on this book Lewis was a man of Faith who put love into action without any violence though he was dealt violence and hate. I imagine as he crossed from this life to the next he heard, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:23 I do believe he was faithful over a GREAT deal and he carried it out with humility and self sacrifice for others.

What a legacy he left behind. Choose love,
Mar 14, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Heroes come in all shapes and any kind of background. John Lewis, for example: did he imagine a new kind of heroism as a boy in Alabama preaching to the chickens on his family's farm? At what point did he realize he would have to display a different kind of bravery, one that entailed not fighting back when attacked but loving his attackers instead? How did he decide he would dedicate his life to fighting an idea, Jim Crow racism? Jon Meacham, whose books often consider religious themes in Americ ...more
Jul 17, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: netgalley-tbr
I just got invited to read and review this new book by Jon Meacham about John Lewis. Can't wait to dig in. ...more
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Summary: An account of the life of Congressman John Lewis, focusing on the years of his leadership in the civil rights movement and the faith, hope, commitment to non-violence and the Beloved Community that sustained him.

We lost a hero this summer in the death of Congressman John Lewis. We may remember the last photos of him, days before his death on Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC, one more expression of the arc of a life spent in the hope that the nation would recognize the gift tha
Tom Mathews
In the author's note at the end of this book, Jon Meacham aptly sums up this book.
This is not a full-scale biography. It is, rather, an appreciative account of the major moments of Lewis’s life in the movement, of the theological understanding he brought to the struggle, and of the utility of that vision as America enters the third decade of the twenty-first century amid division and fear.
This is an apt description of the book. Jon Lewis has written much about his life, from his autobiography,
Brian Fagan
Apr 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Reviewing nonfiction books feels more difficult to me than reviewing novels. I certainly do fewer of these reviews. Perhaps because elements of the writer's style seem less important to my enjoyment of a biography, say, than a novel. Works of fiction are works of an artist's mind, whereas nonfiction relies less on imagination, style and artistry, than on research and organization - those are pretty dry subjects to tackle in a book review, if one can even ferret out much about their contribution ...more
Sep 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Not normally a book I'd pick up off a shelf, but my aunt gave it to me as a grad present. I'm not a spiritual person, but I admire how Lewis used his faith as a bedrock for developing his nonviolent philosophy. Really interesting to read a bunch of different voices from Malcom X to Stokely Carmichael to Martin Luther King on the differences between plain pacifism and Lewis's own brand of nonviolent protest. ...more
alisonwonderland (Alison)
Informative, heart-rending, and inspiring. A truly excellent read!

From the Author’s Note: “This is not a full-scale biography. It is, rather, an appreciative account of the major moments of Lewis’s life in the movement, of the theological understanding he brought to the struggle, and of the utility of that vision as America enters the third decade of the twenty-first century amid division and fear.”
Dawn Michelle
RTC - I need to deal with my book hangover first. And find some more Kleenex to mop up these tears....

I am not sure I can get through this review without crying again; I am not sure that people fully realize what we, as a nation, and BIPOC people especially, lost when John Lewis died. He was a nonviolent fighter up until the end and the loss of him is just so huge. And as I was reading this book, it was made so apparent to me over and over and over again what a huge voice for the Civil Rights Mo
Heather Matson
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I love biographies and this book is no exception. It's the first I've read by Jon Meacham and I'll be sure to add more of his books to my reading list.

I really appreciated the focus of "His Truth is Marching On" on a very specific time in John Lewis' life. The power of hope was critical in the 1960s, and while many victories have been accomplished, there is so much further to go and the need for hope remains today. I don't consider myself an especially religious person, but I have to admit that
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Jon Meacham is the editor of Newsweek, a Pulitzer Prize winning bestselling author and a commentator on politics, history, and religious faith in America.

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