Bonnie_blu's Reviews > The Last Thing You Surrender

The Last Thing You Surrender by Leonard Pitts Jr.
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really liked it
bookshelves: historical_fiction

4.5 Stars.
Racism in all of its forms is abhorrent, cruel, and contemptible. Pitts uses this book to convey the totally unconscionable practice of racism. By following the lives of a young, privileged white man, a young African-American woman, and her brother and the events of WWII, Pitts shows the unvarnished truth of how imbedded racism is and how destructive it is. Pitts also points out the horrors of sexism and how it not only limits, and often destroys, women's lives, but also how it deprives society of a rich resource.

The story is compelling, and the characters are vividly drawn. The three main characters are given a thorough history that imbues them with depth and made me care about each of them. Readers should be forewarned that the racism of the South at the time of the novel is brutally, and explicitly described. However, Pitts is merely conveying the reality of the times.

The only reason I didn't give the book 5 stars is because I think it would have been more forceful if it had been shorter and tighter. Also, I think the ending was a little to "neat."

I have a Masters in History and know that racism, in some form, has been a constant in human society. Humans often view "the other" with suspicion, but people who claim to be civilized have no excuse for racist behavior. People are people; no one is better than another. It appalls me to see the advancements made in the 60s and 70s being destroyed by leaders and groups who use hate to obtain power, just as Hitler did against the Jews.

This is a powerful book. I highly recommend it.

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Reading Progress

September 1, 2019 – Started Reading
September 1, 2019 – Shelved
September 1, 2019 – Shelved as: historical_fiction
September 4, 2019 – Finished Reading

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