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Brother to a Dragonfly: 25th Anniversary Edition [Paperback]

By Will D. Campbell (Author) & Jimmy Carter (Foreword by)
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Item description for Brother to a Dragonfly: 25th Anniversary Edition by Will D. Campbell & Jimmy Carter...

Published to coincide with the PBS documentary "God's Will", this 25th anniversary edition of this powerful and personal civil rights memoir is introduced to a new generation of readers.

Publishers Description
Will CampbellAEs award-winning book shares two interrelated stories. One is of his youth in rural Mississippi and his devotion to his brother whose life ended in seeming tragedy. The other tells of his ordination at age 17 and gradual realization that civil rightsufor blacks, for women, for gays uwas an essential part of a ministry that has not yet ended.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Brother to a Dragonfly: 25th Anniversary Edition by Will D. Campbell & Jimmy Carter has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Christian Century - 05/04/2010 page 30

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Continuum
Pages   268
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2000
Publisher   Continuum International Publishing Group
Edition  Anniversary  
ISBN  0826412688  
ISBN13  9780826412683  

Availability  0 units.

More About Will D. Campbell & Jimmy Carter

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Will D. Campbell is a widely recognized and honored preacher, writer, speaker and civil rights leader. He is a National Book Award finalist and winner of the Lillian Smith Prize and the Christopher Award. In 2000, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal. His major works are nonfiction, telling among others the stories of Mercer University (The Stem of Jesse), a communal farm (Providence), and his own life (Brother to a Dragonfly). He is also an esteemed writer of fiction, including The Glad River, Cecelia's Sin, and two children's books. Will and his wife, Brenda, live on a farm in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Discrimination & Racism
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Baptist
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

Reviews - What do customers think about Brother to a Dragonfly?

poignant reflections by renegade christian  Jan 17, 2007
If you were raised in the south as I was, have an interest in the civil rights movement, or want to enjoy one of the most irreverent Christian curmudgeons ever to irritate the church, then read Will Campbell (b. 1924). Campbell was born and raised in the rural and very poor deep south of Amite, Mississippi, "ordained" by family members at a local Baptist church when he was seventeen, and, in a delightfully improbable life, played a central role as an activist and agitator on behalf of African Americans. But to leave it at that would badly misrepresent him.

After World War II Campbell studied at Tulane, Wake Forest, and Yale. He served as Director of Religious life at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), but left after two years because his controversial views attracted death threats. He then did a stint for the National Council of Churches where he worked with most of the civil rights luminaries. In 1957, Campbell was one of four people who escorted the nine black students who integrated Little Rock's Central High School; and he was the only white person to attend the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. So, how did he come to sip whiskey with the KKK and get hate mail from the left?

Campbell came to distrust all movements and institutions, especially the church (he once referred to television preachers as liars, frauds, and "electronic soul molesters"). He dismissed all politics as impotent. It was less than Christian, he realized, to agitate for the oppressed but to hate the oppressor. No, one could not preach what Luther called a "fictitious grace." God loves the redneck Klansmen as well as the disinherited blacks. For the most part, Brother to a Dragonfly tells the story of Campbell's deep love for his brother Joe, and how the latter's tragic demise to alcohol, drugs, and domestic violence led to his premature death. But it was through Joe and an overtly pagan family friend that Campbell had a conversion later in life. Without realizing it, he recalls, his twenty years of ministry had become one of "liberal sophistication. An attempted negation of Jesus, of human engineering, of riding the coattails of Caesar, of playing on his ballpark, by his rules and with his ball, of looking to government to make and verify and authenticate our morality, of worshipping at the shrine of enlightenment and academia, of making an idol of the Supreme Court, a theology of law and order and of not only denying the Faith I professed to hold but my history and my people--the Thomas Colemans [who murdered two civil rights workers]. Loved. And if loved, forgiven. And if forgiven, reconciled." There was all the difference in the world, he realized, between being a "doctrinaire social activist," however laudable, and a follower of Jesus. The key? "I came to understand the nature of tragedy. And one who understands the nature of tragedy can never take sides."

Christian renegade, preacher, author of twenty books and plays, farmer, country musician, friend of Thomas Merton, and agent provocateur, Will Campbell loves a good chew of tobacco and will strike many as enigmatic. Not everyone will appreciate his rapier wit. But PBS profiled him in their documentary "God's Will," in 2000 President Clinton honored him with a National Endowment for the Humanities medal, and Brother to a Dragonfly won numerous literary awards.
More than a memoir  Oct 23, 2006
Brother to a Dragonfly is the story of 2 brothers who, in their own way, idolize each other. Will looks up to his older brother Joe. Joe is the protector. He always wants to make things right. And Joe knows that Will is destined to have a mark on the world. But Will D. Campbell has written more than a memoir in writing about growing up with his brother Joe in rural Mississippi. He has captured a piece of America's past. This book reads like a novel - poverty, war, race relations, the civil rights movement, drug addiction, domestic violence - it's all there. Occasionally Campbell makes an awkward jump in the story, but this some how enhances the voice and reminds the reader that this is life. Life doesn't always flow like we would like it to. While telling the story of his brother, Campbell paints a portrait of southerners (himself) during the civil rights movement that don't always get the recognition they deserve. I was surprised by the insights he had 40 years ago about both sides of the civil rights movement. I was even more surprised to find that I had bought into many of the southern stereotypes, and I'm southern!
If you are interested in southern literature, coming of age stories, family relationships, American history from 1930's to 1960's, or the Civil Rights Movement, you need to add Brother to a Dragonfly to your list of reads. Will D. Campbell gives a first rate account of his experience. While it is only one man's view, it is a rich one!
Life changing  Jul 9, 2006
I've read this book several times, and it never fails to move me. I don't think I've read a more powerful book. Oprah needs to get on this one.
The Bond Between Brothers  Nov 11, 2003
This book sets the standard for brotherly love: through the joyous days of youth, through sickness, through the reversal of who worships who, each standing up for the other no matter what.

This book also wrestles with faith, guilt before the law versus guilt before God, examines stereotypes and throws them away.

"Suddenly I knew a lot of things I had not known before. I knew that I had been caught in my own trap. (In a discussion with a Klansman) Suddenly I knew that we are a nation of Klansmen. I knew that as a nation we stood for peace, harmony and freedom in that war (Vietnam), that we defined the words, and that the means we were employing to accomplish those ends were identical with the ones he had listed."

Follow Will Campbell in his journey with his brother and your horizons will be broadened.

The finest coming of age story I have encountered  Feb 4, 2001
Brother to a dragonfly, Will D Campbell's brilliant,evocative, nostalgic luminous memoir teels the story of his family in the pre-tva rural south. Though much much more then a simple coming of age story,it is the story of 2 brothers,their lives amid the greatest change in this ountry since the civil war. Will D Campbell and his brother Joe stories are told so movingly,and with such deep power that ,by the end it will move you to tears. It is the sory of a man,family,RELIGION,the south,race,addiction,love and death. It will shatter any preconcieved notions and stereotypes,for Will D Campell is a true iconoclast. I run out of superlatives to describe this book. Read it.

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