It’s probably unfair, but I would like Nicholas Lemann’s account of the causes and consequences of the great black migration better if it were not so widely and extravagantly praised. It is, in some ways, a very good book. Well-written and compassionate, The Promised Land makes important contributions both as an account of a crucial chapter in recent American history and as a vivid depiction of the horrors faced by ghetto dwellers today. Yet the reception of the book all across the political
spectrum and its long stay on the best-seller lists have made it something more. The Promised Land
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