Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Ethan Michaeli  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born:

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Michaeli lives in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Ethan Michaeli is an award-winning author, publisher, and journalist based in Chicago. He was a copyeditor and investigative reporter at The Defender from 1991 to 1996. He has written the book, The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed AmericaGiving voice to the voiceless, the Chicago Defender condemned Jim Crow, catalyzed the Great Migration, and focused the electoral power of black America. Robert S. Abbott founded The Defender in 1905, smuggled hundreds of thousands of copies into the most isolated communities in the segregated South, and was dubbed a "Modern Moses," becoming one of the first black millionaires in the process. His successor wielded the newspaper's clout to elect mayors and presidents, including Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, who would have lost in 1960 if not for The Defender's support. Along the way, its pages were filled with columns by legends like Ida B. Wells, Langston Hughes and Martin Luther King.Drawing on dozens of interviews and extensive archival research, Ethan Michaeli constructs a revelatory narrative of race in America and brings to life the reporters who braved lynch mobs and policemen's clubs to do their jobs, from the age of Teddy Roosevelt to the age of Barack Obama.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America
ISBN: 0547560699

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2016

“An extraordinary history…Deeply researched, elegantly written…a towering achievement that will not be soon forgotten.”Brent Staples, New York Times Book Review

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY


The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • Amazon


Giving voice to the voiceless, the Chicago Defender condemned Jim Crow, catalyzed the Great Migration, and focused the electoral power of black America. Robert S. Abbott founded The Defender in 1905, smuggled hundreds of thousands of copies into the most isolated communities in the segregated South, and was dubbed a "Modern Moses," becoming one of the first black millionaires in the process. His successor wielded the newspaper’s clout to elect mayors and presidents, including Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, who would have lost in 1960 if not for TheDefender’s support. Along the way, its pages were filled with columns by legends like Ida B. Wells, Langston Hughes, and Martin Luther King.

Drawing on dozens of interviews and extensive archival research, Ethan Michaeli constructs a revelatory narrative of race in America and brings to life the reporters who braved lynch mobs and policemen’s clubs to do their jobs, from the age of Teddy Roosevelt to the age of Barack Obama.


Awards

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