Book: The Long Haul
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From Publishers Weekly:
Grandson of an illiterate "mountain man" and son of a poor Tennessee farmer, Horton worked his way through college and university studies and, after becoming a labor union organizer, founded and directed the Tennessee-based Highlander Folk School (now the Highlander Research and Education Center), with the missions to mobilize voter registration among blacks, further the cause of unions and support civil rights. In this "autobiography" coauthored with the Kohls ( View from the Oak ), Horton describes the struggle to keep Highlander going despite accusations of its Communist orientation, and recalls the people (Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Ralph Abernathy, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Saul Alinsky, Eleanor Roosevelt) and movements that developed or gained inspiration there. A believer in freedom not only of speech but of individual thought, Horton stresses that he has never cast his lot with Communism but tried to provide opportunities for oppressed people to advance themselves."
From Library Journal:
"Horton aspires to a world in which all "people are of worth . . . you not only have to love and respect people, but you have to think in terms of building a society that people can profit most from, and that kind of society has to work on the principle of equality." His Long Haul to help build such a world has led him from a Depression-era Tennessee family to the founding of the Highlander Folk School to a world-renowned position in the field of community education. From 1932 to its abrupt, politically motivated closing in 1961, the Highlander Folk School was a pioneer in experience-based education to address societal inequality in southern Appalachia. This book is primarily a treatise on the beliefs which governed Horton's life, rather than a traditional autobiography. (For a thorough history of the Highlander Folk School, see Aimee Isgrig Horton's Highlander Folk School , Carlson, 1989.)"
- Annelle R. Huggins, Memphis State Univ. Libraries.
"How a group of caring people can be transformed into a catalyst for social change. Myles Horton, and threads of the humanity who made up the Highlander School, championed the Appalachian working class, empowering them to stand up to the factory owners and politicians who used their lack of education against them. By respecting the knowledge and intelligence of the poorest, Mr. Horton was able to win the proud mountain people's respect and trust and help them to understand the foundations of the democracy within which they lived.
This book has a great deal to teach about democracy, about learning, about our society's prejudices built on race, sex and education. It is a book about inspiration, about defining and learning about your own beliefs and where you stand on important issues that effect all of humanity today. Read this book for the history, to learn about the strength of a man and a group who followed their beliefs...but you will find yourself, in the end, learning about yourself."
- Jennifer Primrose