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With more than two million copies in print, Manchild in the Promised Land is one of the most remarkable autobiographies of our time—the definitive account of African-American youth in Harlem of the 1940s and 1950s, and a seminal work of modern literature.

Published during a literary era marked by the ascendance of black writers such as Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Alex Haley, this thinly fictionalized account of Claude Brown’s childhood as a hardened, streetwise criminal trying to survive the toughest streets of Harlem has been heralded as the definitive account of everyday life for the first generation of African Americans raised in the Northern ghettos of the 1940s and 1950s.

When the book was first published in 1965, it was praised for its realistic portrayal of Harlem—the children, young people, hardworking parents; the hustlers, drug dealers, prostitutes, and numbers runners; the police; the violence, sex, and humor.

The book continues to resonate generations later, not only because of its fierce and dignified anger, not only because the struggles of urban youth are as deeply felt today as they were in Brown’s time, but also because of its inspiring message. Now with an introduction by Nathan McCall, here is the story about the one who “made it,” the boy who kept landing on his feet and grew up to become a man.

Topics: Race Relations

Published: Scribner on Sep 28, 2010
ISBN: 9781451626179
List price: $11.99
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Best book ever. So sad I never got a chance to meet him before he diedread more
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This book is a classic. I read this one in a college class several years ago and it moved me so much I wanted to read it again. Very humanizing. A memoir.read more
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There is so much that I can identify with, having grown up in Harlem around the same time period. Manchild is authentic and beautifully written. While autobiographical and based in the ghetto, the themes are truly universal.read more
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Reviews

Best book ever. So sad I never got a chance to meet him before he died
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is a classic. I read this one in a college class several years ago and it moved me so much I wanted to read it again. Very humanizing. A memoir.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
There is so much that I can identify with, having grown up in Harlem around the same time period. Manchild is authentic and beautifully written. While autobiographical and based in the ghetto, the themes are truly universal.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I remembered reading this eons ago, and there are still parts of that fictionalized/non-fiction memoir I remember. Brown growing up in Harlem during the 40s and 50s is rough, but I like how he wrote in clear prose, and didn't shy away from the difficulties and the unpleasantries of being in a depressing environment; he perserveres, and I think there's a message here that transcends racial lines and time.
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This book had a profound impact on me when I read it in 8th grade. I've read it three times since, and it always retains its power.
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Loved this book however, If you have read "Down these mean streets by Piri Thomas"do not read this book. It will just seem like a African American version of the book you've already read
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