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All God's Dangers: The Life Of Nate Shaw Paperback – 2 May 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; University of Chicago Press Ed edition (2 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226727742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226727745
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,018,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Tremendous . . . a testimony of human nobility . . . the record of a heroic man with a phenomenal memory and a life experience of a kind of seldom set down in print. . . . a person of extraordinary stature, industrious, brave, prudent, and magnanimous. . . . One emerges from these hundred of pages wiser, sadder, and better because of them. A unique triumph!"--Alfred C. Ames "Chicago Tribune Book World "

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First Sentence
MY daddy had three brothers-Hubert, Bob, and Nate-and I'm named after one of em. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 81 reviews
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Thanks For The Memories, Nate 23 Feb. 2005
By Chimonsho - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a timeless classic, and not just among memoirs, because the subject was a great American---a man who "had no get-back in him." Nate Shaw (real name Ned Cobb) had an amazing memory, and also an acute understanding of the post-Civil War rural South. The rhythm of the seasons, work routines, knowledge of livestock, nature and people too, combine for a profound view of a vanished America. (If you want to really know about mules, Ned's the man.) But Ned didn't just observe, he worked with the Alabama Sharecroppers' Union and defended powerless friends, serving 12 years in prison after being shot for his pains. This activism sets him apart from Kas Maine, a South African sharecropper to whom he's been compared in recent years. The earthy dialect wears out some readers, but otherwise "All God's Dangers" is compelling from start to end. Writers from Wendell Berry to Pete Daniel praise both man and book, while John Beecher's "In Egypt Land" is a moving poetic rendition of Ned's story. R. Kelley, "Hammer & Hoe" vividly recreates 1930s Alabama; on Kas Maine, see C. Van Onselen, "The Seed Is Mine." But Ned tells about his world far better than the others. In living, then narrating, a life of great struggle lived with great dignity, Ned Cobb performed a signal service --- for all of us. We are in your debt!
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Family, Race, Class and Farming in Alabama 5 Jan. 2005
By Daniel A. Stone - Published on
Format: Paperback
In the middle of Rosengarten's book, truly a masterpiece of oral history memoir making, Nate Shaw says "all God's dangers ain't a white man." This would seem truly a remarkable thing for a black man who spent over a decade in an Alabama prison to say, but as a farmer growing cotton in Alabama during the first half of the twentieth century it quickly makes sense once he explains it. Shaw's story of his chaffing under his good for nothing father's roof; his growing prosperity as share cropper and than as a yeoman farmer; his hucksterism when dealing with violent and hostile whites attempting to cheat him; the defense of fellow small farmers that got him thrown in jail during the Great Depression; and his takes on the science of farming, race relations, the American class system and his own life experiences show Shaw to be a master story teller and Rosengarten and master interviewer. The combination of these two was absolute dynamite.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
amazingly detailed 21 Dec. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
it is not often that you can receive such an in depth and personal account of life in the south "post-slavery". even though slavery had been abolished and the south was supposed to be in reformation, nate shaw's true-life account shows how the effects of slavery (on both sides) were lasting and not easily forgotten. Shaw's extremely detailed account helps those of us who were not living in that time and place to get a real understanding of how this country was formed, and will hopefully open your eyes to the unnecessary and hideous reasons people have for discrimination.
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
The Real Nate. 4 Jan. 2001
By Dwight L. Wilson - Published on
Format: Paperback
Nate Shaw was the father of my Uncle Oscar Turner's best friend. His real name was Nate Cobb and the family of the son, Lorraine, is prominent in the Middletown, Ohio ghetto.
The author has done a masterful job of illustrating how greatness was thrust upon him. Nate never set out to become a hero, only to protect his own dignity and provide for his children.
I do not believe that there is a better book for teaching about the lies of 20th century sharecroppers. Theirs is an overlooked legacy.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
a masterpiece 2 Dec. 2008
By Jack Cade - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not much to say really--a great book about a very great man. For those who think the struggle for racial equality began in 1954 this book will widden their historical hisorical horizons. But what it shows to me above all are the heroic possibilities of ordinary people in the US "Nate Shaw" or others like Hosea Hudson and later Fannie Lou Hamer--I wish somehow people in other parts of the world could read this book because they would realize there is a hidden America, an America not represented by our dreary and belicose politicians or our narcotic talking heads or worse our "official" historians" I can think of very few other books about American history that EVERONE MUST READ.
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