In the sequel to "Roosevelt's Blues", Guido van Rijn presents an account of the gospel and blues music of the immediate post-war period, concentrating on songs that comment on contemporary political events and issues during a crucial time in the shaping of black consciousness in America. In doing so he uncovers a hidden black history of the eve of the emergence of the civil rights movement - a deep insight into the lives and opinions of people who had few other outlets of expression. Van Rijn's exhaustive survey sheds light on the civil rights situation of the time and the experience of segregation as well as events such as the Atom Bomb, the Cold War, Korea and the Republican victory in 1956. A CD is included, featuring songs discussed in the book.
Rainer Rother is Programme Director for Cinema at the German Historical Museum in Berlin.