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Summer of Rage

An Oral History of the 1967 Newark and Detroit Riots

Max Arthur Herman

Drawing on oral history interviews and archival materials, Summer of Rage examines the causes and consequences of urban unrest that occurred in Newark and Detroit during the summer of 1967. It seeks to give voice to those who experienced these events firsthand and places personal narratives in a broader theoretical framework involving issues of collective memory, trauma, race relations, and urban development. Further, the volume explores the multiple truths present in these contentious events and thereby sheds light on the past, present, and future of these cities.
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This book has been several years in the making. Numerous individuals played a significant role in helping bring this work to fruition. To begin with, I am particularly grateful to the citizens of Newark and Detroit who made me feel welcome in their homes, houses of worship and places of business, and who tolerated my incessant inquiries about where they were and what they were doing during the summer of 1967. I am deeply appreciative of all the people who took part in the interviews upon which this book is based. It is your memories and thoughtful reflections that constitute the heart of the material. Without you, this book would not exist. There are too many of you to thank personally, but I hope you will see your words in the text of this book and will agree that it is an honest reflection of your sentiments.

Along the way, several people have contributed their time and resources to make this book happen. My partner, Jennifer Oshiki accompanied me on my initial journey to Detroit in the summer of 2001 and has remained steadfast in her support of me and my “riots” project, keeping the house in order, and tending to my elderly parents while I roamed the cities looking for more people to share their stories. Thanks for putting up with me and my shifting moods over the two decades we have been together. You are my partner in all things and for all time...

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