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Run #1

Run: Book One

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First you march, then you run. From the #1 bestselling, award–winning team behind March comes the first book in their new, groundbreaking graphic novel series, Run: Book One

“In sharing my story, it is my hope that a new generation will be inspired by Run to actively participate in the democratic process and help build a more perfect Union here in America.” –Congressman John Lewis

The sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel series March—the continuation of the life story of John Lewis and the struggles seen across the United States after the Selma voting rights campaign.

To John Lewis, the civil rights movement came to an end with the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. But that was after more than five years as one of the preeminent figures of the movement, leading sit–in protests and fighting segregation on interstate busways as an original Freedom Rider. It was after becoming chairman of SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and being the youngest speaker at the March on Washington. It was after helping organize the Mississippi Freedom Summer and the ensuing delegate challenge at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. And after coleading the march from Selma to Montgomery on what became known as “Bloody Sunday.” All too often, the depiction of history ends with a great victory. But John Lewis knew that victories are just the beginning. In Run: Book One, John Lewis and longtime collaborator Andrew Aydin reteam with Nate Powell—the award–winning illustrator of the March trilogy—and are joined by L. Fury—making an astonishing graphic novel debut—to tell this often overlooked chapter of civil rights history.

152 pages, Hardcover

First published August 3, 2021

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About the author

John Lewis

30 books859 followers
John Robert Lewis was the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district, serving since 1987 and was the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. He was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), playing a key role in the struggle to end segregation. He was a member of the Democratic Party and was one of the most liberal legislators.

Barack Obama honoured Lewis with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and they marched hand in hand in Selma on the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday attack (March 7, 1965).

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5 stars
1,225 (45%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 438 reviews
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.5k followers
September 3, 2021
The first volume of the sequel to the award-winning series March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell. That series was scripted by Lewis's communication director Aydin based on Lewis's own autobiographical writing and illustrated by Powell. A must-read graphic history, with a YA audience in mind, I guess, but it has proved as most good books to be a hit with all ages.

This one, Run, Book One, is released after the passing of Lewis (R.I.P.!), though we are told that Lewis was part of the process almost to the very end so it is fair to say it is his story, based on his writing and his input as the work went forward, though it is also clear that the work is more deeply enhanced by research into many other texts regarding this period. This book is focused largely on 1965-66, after the Voting Rights Act and Lewis’ ouster from SNCC in 1966, and lots of continuing political turmoil. It also adds an artist to share in the work with Powell, the surprising choice of new and much less experienced L. Fury, in her first long form graphic project.

This volume is meticulously researched and very helpful for anyone interested in this American Civil Rights period, the sixties, but it is very dense, featuring many, many important individuals you would not know without bios of players, so that is there. It's also text-heavy, as so much information needs to be shared. And then there are the 35 pages of appendices, including the bios, references, and commentary. Having two artists with slightly different approaches/styles was disappointing, because I am a fan of Nate Powell, but it was only mildly jarring, finally. For someone like me that lived through this period, it was riveting and gave me a fresh perspective on the events of those times. But it is relevant to racial politics of today, certainly!
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,538 reviews197 followers
August 22, 2021
The sequel to John Lewis' terrific March series gets off to a strong start as the authors cover the tumultuous months for Lewis and his allies in the Civil Rights Movement between August 1965 and June 1966. It's scary how many parallels can be drawn to the present day with police brutality, an unpopular war going awry, politicians trying to hold onto power by suppressing votes and complicating voter registration, the Black Power slogan being as empowering and polarizing as Black Lives Matter, and internecine struggles over nonviolent and militant means.

My only criticism is that the scope gets so large and so many important events and people are crammed in that only a panel or two can be spared to touch on them. Readers with only a casual knowledge of the history might find themselves lost in the sea of names even with the helpful biographies provided in the back. But the central theme of Lewis trying to hold onto a path of nonviolence in a time of turbulence held the book together for me.
Profile Image for Bee Ostrowsky.
226 reviews10 followers
July 30, 2021
At first, it was difficult for me to grasp just how much care, research, and attention to detail went into the creation of Run: Book One. The art and storytelling are exceptional—I’ve wanted to read a story in which committee deliberations were not pedantic minutiae but thrilling drama, and here the world has that story. There’s enough explanation for readers born a generation later to understand the economic and geopolitical context, and it’s offered in a way that never hurts the pace.

But no undue liberties were taken with historical fact, which becomes clear in the 30+ pages of end matter in which the authors explain the lengths to which they went. In choosing the clothing people were shown wearing, they considered not only what year and season it was, but also the person’s age and economic condition. Same goes for the vehicles: not only the model year, but also how old of a car these folks were probably driving and how dinged-up it would look by then. They interviewed participants, and consulted archivists and historians, and even checked on the history of Post-It notes. And then they followed it up by impeccable citations for every source they used.

Now, I’m a librarian and a geek, so I’m inclined to love something all the more when it’s well-researched. But the story itself is compelling and complex, and it all really happened. My only complaint—and I expect it will be resolved by the creation of Run: Book Two and Three—is that this volume only leads up to just before the political career of Rep. John Lewis, ending with his decision to run. With the passing of Rep. Lewis, the surviving authors have lost their most important collaborator. But I feel certain, based on the scholarly care put into Book One, that those volumes will follow, and will not disappoint.
Profile Image for Rincey.
813 reviews4,589 followers
October 1, 2022
Continuing on with John Lewis' life from the March graphic novels, this starts to show how the Civil Rights movement evolves and becomes a lot more complicated than is often taught. It is fascinating to see this next era of the movement and the congressman's life, but I will say that this is extremely detailed and information dense, which is a bit of a double edged sword.

Watch me discuss this in my August wrap up: https://youtu.be/N1eHFLs1Oqs
Profile Image for daria ❀.
312 reviews2,270 followers
August 6, 2021
i was a big fan of the original march comics and was so happy that john lewis continued with the graphic novel format to tell his story. in this volume, we see lewis and other prominent members/leaders of the civil rights movement deal with the aftermath of the voting rights act being signed into law. white supremacy rears its ugly head as klansmen, police, and other white members of the public continue to harass and abuse black people and keep them from voting. lewis is also dealing with shifting ideologies within sncc (the student nonviolent coordinating committee), with up and coming members feeling like nonviolence is getting them nowhere, and that there needs to be more decisive push back against the oppression they are subjugated to. it was really fascinating to watch as lewis tried to navigate uncharted territory, lost and unsure where to go and what to do next. i can’t wait to read the next volume!
Profile Image for 3rian.
106 reviews2 followers
August 2, 2021
“First you March, then you Run.”

I’m a bit floored (in a good way) by this graphic novel. The brilliant March trilogy that precedes this work concludes with the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But the struggle for civil rights was far from over. Run: Book One fulfills an important need by telling the stories that happened *after* such a significant milestone in the United States’ history - i.e., the narratives we don’t always get to see depicted:

- Those who didn’t support the change feel threatened and angrily push back (I was haunted by the perverse distortion of seeing a supremacist “protest march”, which called to mind some of the disturbing imagery we’ve all witnessed in recent memory).

- Meanwhile, those that accomplished progress start to fundamentally disagree on how to defend the change they’d fought for.

- The voting rights of Black people are then immediately systematically threatened by suppression.

It all makes for a timely and powerful read as we see the late Congressman John Lewis (then-chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) hold true to his principles and try to continue the work, despite the growing discord within his organization over a shift in values and methodology.

L. Fury joins the creative team and her black and white artwork is nothing short of beautiful and evocative, meeting the bar set by March’s artist Nate Powell. The book’s supplemental materials include an essay on her approach to assuming this role, as well as notes on specific events depicted in the book and mini-biographies of those involved in the Civil Rights Movement. All illuminating sections that further enhanced my reading experience.

These stories need to be told and this format is a powerful and effective means to make it accessible and immersive for a wide audience. Even if you haven’t read March (which you should!), you can jump in with this volume and appreciate it on its own. Absolutely worth your time.
Profile Image for Ms. B.
3,027 reviews36 followers
April 16, 2022
Did you know comics were used as part of the Civil Rights movement? Written in the style of the comic strips from that era; this is John Lewis's memoir about his years as chairman of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963-1966. Even though the marches from the previous years led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, many within the movement were concerned that change wasn't really happening or happening quickly enough. What will happen next in the Civil Rights movement? Find out in this memoir for young adults and adults.
Profile Image for Elizabeth☮ .
1,568 reviews11 followers
April 8, 2022
I loved John Lewis' trilogy about how he became a part of the Civil Rights Movement (March). This book picks up where book three in March left off. The Civil Rights Act has been passed by Congress. But, the work is not done.

This is the exposition, so a lot of the book is spent introducting the various organizations that are moving the fight for justice forward. We also meet a lot of the pivotal members of the movement. There is much to be made of voting and registering Black voters in the South. Sadly, the roadblocks may not look the same today, but there are many still in place.

There are a lot of notes in the back about how the art is created and the characters developed. Since Lewis is now gone, I think it's important to pay honor to his legacy and how he helped shape the narrative.
September 23, 2021
I devoured March, the graphic novel trilogy about the early years of Congressman John Lewis’s life and couldn’t wait to get book one of its sequel, Run.

Our high school history books like to tell us that the Civil Rights Movement was neatly wrapped with the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by President Johnson.
Run details the continuing struggles and new issues that arose once the Act was signed as well as the end of Lewis’s time as SNCC chairman.
This is another excellent and immersive graphic novel detailing an important time in American history that is unfortunately often glossed over in text books.

For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Rebecca Newland.
57 reviews
August 12, 2021
I will always be uplifted by John Lewis and his story. This installment covers segments of history I know little about. This book provides milestones that make me want to investigate further for more and more details about the intricacies of the movement for civil rights. I look forward to Run book 2.
Profile Image for Sara .
1,145 reviews110 followers
December 20, 2021
This volume illustrates the splintering of the various organizations fighting for civil rights in the 1960s into various factions, including the Black Panther Party. Lewis relates how difficult it was to navigate this splintering both politically and emotionally, and the end of this book leaves Lewis where he must rethink his path and purpose. Can't wait for the next volume!
Profile Image for Laura Hoffman Brauman.
2,592 reviews37 followers
February 22, 2022
"First you March, then you run." - John Lewis The March trilogy told the story of the work done to get the Voting Rights Act passed. Run picks up with the next step - passing the VRA was just a step in the Civil Rights Movement. Run examines 1965/1966, the change in leadership at the SNCC, and the impact of the Viet Nam war and the draft on the Movement. I appreciate the level of detail and work done by Lewis as well as the artists - Andrew Aydin, L. Fury, and Nate Powell. Telling this store in graphic format makes it come alive - seeing the illustrations mixed with the text makes the reader pause at just the moments the author wants you to reflect. "Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble" - In Run, Lewis tells you about some of the ways he got into good trouble - and you can see how it influenced the man he became.
Profile Image for Jason Furman.
1,209 reviews819 followers
August 18, 2021
Another amazing graphic novel from John Lewis and the creative team that produced March: Book One. I can't stress enough how well the medium works in telling this story, the vivid black-and-white pictures that take us from the aftermath of the Voting Rights Act to John Lewis resigning from SNCC and deciding he himself is going to run. It depicts the violence and brutality that continued for years after Black people had legally gotten protection for their voting rights, the debates over the tactics to respond to it, and the rise of Stokley Carmichael and the Black Power movement as a continuation of and alternative to the traditional nonviolent civil rights movement. The story is told sympathetically and well (maybe not quite as well as March with its flashbacks from Obama's first inauguration).

The afterword includes several pages of the artist (Nate Powell) describing his methods which gave me an even deeper appreciation of the book. He painstakingly went through old photographs and other sources as well as interviewed people in an attempt to get everything as right as possible, not a photo but something like it. Even with large groups he tried to have real people's faces in order to, as he explained, honor the many unnamed people that played a role in these events. He also showed places where he originally drew, for example, an office in the wrong way and then was corrected by a participant. The level of detail is extraordinary because so many comics are just slapdash inking and this one could have sold decently without anything resembling this degree of effort and artistry.
Profile Image for Lesley.
1,802 reviews11 followers
December 2, 2021
RIP John Lewis. Another important graphic novel from the makers of March
Profile Image for BookishStitcher.
1,154 reviews44 followers
September 12, 2021
I didn't enjoy this as much as I did the March Trilogy, but it was still good. I definitely learned some news things about SNCC and John Lewis. I'm going the keep reading any other books that come out in this series. I really enjoy the graphic novel and historical accounts form. The artist put a lot of thought into recreating how things would have looked at the time, which I appreciate.
Profile Image for Baylor Heath.
204 reviews
August 26, 2021
I felt a little cheated when Nate Powell’s art was only featured in the first few pages (which was so essential to the immersive feel of the original trilogy), but I quickly began to enjoy L. Fury’s style (though slightly more amateurish). This first installment of a new series in followup to March had little room to breathe, but the moments it slowed down in a particular scene/subject it became highly engaging and immersive (*spoiler warning, if it’s possible to spoil history?* like Stokely Carmichael’s usurpation of John as the head of the SNCC, Carmichael’s pivoting the organization away from the nonviolent philosophy, and John’s despair at having lost everything he associated with his identity). I often want the version of this which is more of an imaginative dramatization of certain historical moments, but that’s just not what this is. It is a historical memoir which is chiefly educational and in that respect, it is quite successful! This installment particularly inspired respect for John and his unwavering devotion to social change through non-violence and love. I look forward to the next installments.

RIP John Lewis.
Luke, thanks for buying me this!
Profile Image for Courtney.
829 reviews6 followers
October 1, 2021
But confronting systemic racism and economic injustice meant asking white people one question: Is America ready to share its abundance with people of color?

John Lewis has an amazing story and I will gladly read anything written about his life. That being said, Run: Book One didn't strike me as much as the March series did. Perhaps it's because I read all three books in a row, and this is just the first (of what I hope is another trilogy). But something about this one didn't feel quite so complete. It's the part of the story that is less well known, so maybe that's part of it. I also found that with a new artist, the feel of the book changed a little bit from the March series. Add in 11 pages of character descriptions at the end, this book seemed very different.

Ultimately this book doesn't need to be exactly like the March series--it's a more grown up, more complicated story of the Civil Rights Movement, but I found it hard to not compare it to those books. Despite not living up to all of that, this was an incredible story and I am so in awe of the strength and courage of John Lewis and everyone who fought for Black lives in the 1960s up to today.
Profile Image for Barry.
899 reviews37 followers
August 22, 2021
[3 stars = this book is good; I enjoyed it]

“Run” tells the important story of the Civil Rights movement during 1965-66, much of it focusing on the internal tensions and eventual fragmentation of the SNCC. Compared with the March Trilogy, this doesn’t pack the same visceral punch, but it is well worth reading. I just hope we don’t have to wait too long for the next installment of this new series.

Adam wrote a great review:
Profile Image for Brittany.
1,050 reviews17 followers
September 27, 2021
I think John Lewis is a phenomenal human being and I learned so much from the "March" trilogy. I was delighted that a new graphic novel series was being released, as this is a time in history that I should definitely know more about. This book felt more like a straight info-dump, rather than the story the March books weaved together. It was dense and difficult to remember and keep straight all the different people and what they each did. I'm both saddened and curious to know how they'll proceed now that Lewis is gone. There is definitely so much more story to tell.
621 reviews3 followers
August 5, 2021
This should be compulsory reading in high school history classes. I learned more from this one book about the period of time after the Voting Rights Act was signed than I have in any of my history classes in hs or college. Congressman Lewis lived an amazing life with courage, fighting for dignity while remaining true to his nonviolent beliefs.
*Note, I would recommend reading March first as this starts directly after the end of that series and makes reference to events previously discussed.
Profile Image for melhara.
1,339 reviews59 followers
November 30, 2021
This non-fiction graphic novel, which was published posthumously, depicts John Lewis' involvement with the Voting Rights Act and SNCC during the Civil Rights Movement from 1965 to 1966.

The Civil Rights Movement is not part of the Canadian curriculum, so I never really learned about it. This book definitely taught me a lot about the movement.

It's evident from the quality of the content (both the text and graphics) that a lot of research, time, and effort went into developing this comic book. The graphics and pacing of the comic were fantastic and I truly felt transported and emotionally devastated by the events that happened during that time. It was also very disconcerting to see how many issues from the Civil Rights Movement remain relevant today, and that progress is happening far too slowly.

This book was a bit text-heavy for a comic book, but I thought it was well-balanced with the graphics (and if you think about it, it's not too text-heavy for a history book). I think this would be a suitable YA history book for schools (especially for kids who aren't too keen on reading).

I haven't read the March series (which precedes this one). Many reviewers have pointed out was even better than this one, so I'll definitely be checking that out.
Profile Image for Ed.
597 reviews71 followers
February 19, 2022
First off, thanks to Abrams Books for the complimentary copy of this book via a Goodreads giveaway (my 4th all-time win... tho a 1.8% winning percentage - hang in there folks and keep trying!).

I read John Lewis' original three-part graphic novel series 'March' awhile back in one swoop (btw, a beautiful boxed set that I would highly recommend), so it seemed like I just flew right through this first installment (of what I assume is another trilogy) of its sequel 'Run' which picks up on the life of John Lewis and the civil rights movement after the Selma march. Despite brushing up on my awareness and knowledge of African American history over the past several years, it just seems like every new book I read has some bit of new information or revelation that wasn't part of my "formal" education.

One nice extra of this book in particular was the extended discussion of the artistic process in creating these graphic novels (which I don't recall from the 'March' book, tho it certainly could or was likely there). But kudos to Andrew Aydin, L. Fury, and Nate Powell for their artistry and excruciating level of detail, care, and research in telling this story in this challenging visual format, even more poignant following the death of John Lewis in 2020 and prior to the publication of this book/series.
Profile Image for Wendelle.
1,601 reviews37 followers
January 13, 2022
This is a continuation of the graphic novel autobiography of Congressman John Lewis. Congressman Lewis has been steadfast in maintaining his values of solidarity, tolerance, and nonviolence. In this book we see the challenges his values grappled with, as the Civil Rights movement coincided with the Vietnam War and the rise of the Black Panther. In both situations, Congressman John Lewis' difficult-- and non-universally supported-- decisions were always guided by the fact that he didn't want to leave anyone behind. He would not compromise with Lyndon Johnson about any shady deals that would exchange the welfare of African-Americans for the welfares of other suffering peoples, such as Africans suffering colonialism in the Congo or hard-pressed people in Vietnam. Thus, he opposed the draft even if his silence would have bought his group some political advantages. Similarly, he opposed any abuse or hostility to the Caucasian staffers of the SNCC or Civil Rights Movement. Because of that, he broke with the movement when it transformed into the Black Panther.
Profile Image for Mary Havens.
1,399 reviews24 followers
March 25, 2022
Excited to see another installment of John Lewis's life work in graphic novel format. This is the first in a trilogy but Lewis's death in 2020 is sure to have an impact on the next two. This first installment tells of the pushback after the Civil Rights Act and the beginning of the end of SNCC as a nonviolent group.
I appreciate the massive amount of work that goes into creating this works. The co-author went into quite a bit of detail at the end about historical accuracy in the illustrations as well as the content. There was a very nice biography of each person mentioned in the work (and there were a lot) as well as an extensive bibliography.
I also appreciate Lewis's commitment to tell the entire story even if it doesn't always turn out like he wanted. True, it is from his perspective but the "warts and all" history of this movement deserves this commitment.
Looking forward to the next two - excellent as always.
Profile Image for Brian Heid.
86 reviews2 followers
August 28, 2022
Again, I find myself wishing we could give half stars because I found this to be a solid 3.5. While I’m aware that this is the first in (possibly a trilogy, like the March series) I found this first entry a bit….muddled. I think it’s wonderful to have this continuation to show that after the Civil Rights Act it wasn’t as if the problem of racism just disappeared, but I felt like this particular story was trying to cover too much ground and tell too many stories. March, I felt, did a wonderful job weaving together different people and various organizations and presenting them in a thoughtful and interesting way. This first entry in the Run series felt like it wanted to talk about a lot and failed to really give any particular narrative enough depth or importance.
Profile Image for Rachel.
1,498 reviews28 followers
December 11, 2021
Valuable history of the Civil Rights movement, and excellently put together. Along with the previous series, March, it should be required reading for Americans. It shows John Lewis's participation and the relevant events of the times, covering 1965 to 1966. It ends when SNCC votes him out, as he wants to maintain nonviolence as a policy and others don't. I assume the rest of the series was prepared before Lewis's death, because this one ends with him running to a new city, kind of a cliffhanger. I also assume that in the next one, he will run for office, and I'd like to see that.
Profile Image for Anne.
167 reviews14 followers
November 8, 2021
After "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, John Lewis found it difficult to keep the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) united. Stokely Carmichael led SNCC members in protests that ended up creating the Black Power slogan. Hearing what was happening from Mr. Lewis directly makes me much more empathetic to human beings in general and to people of color in particular. I look forward to the next 2 volumes in this series.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 438 reviews

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