Posts Tagged ‘Ned Cobb’

On Friday, Dwight Garner, senior writer and book critic for the New York Times, wrote about the book All God’s Dangers.

Nineteen seventy-four was a good year for nonfiction writing in America. Robert A. Caro’s monumental biography of Robert Moses, “The Power Broker,” came out. So did Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s “All the President’s Men.” So did “Working,” by Studs Terkel, and Robert M. Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

Each was a finalist for the National Book Award. Yet the winner in general nonfiction — the category was then called contemporary affairs — was “All God’s Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw,” an oral history of an illiterate black Alabama sharecropper. Its author, the man who compiled it from extensive interviews, was a writer named Theodore Rosengarten.

Forty years later, we remember “The Power Broker,” “All the President’s Men,” “Working” and “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” But in a troubling quirk of history, “All God’s Dangers” has all but fallen off the map.

Today that book is the top selling book on Amazon, which presumably is an indication of the power of Garner’s New York Times column. You can read the rest of Garner’s column here. I’ve put this book on my reading list.