All God's Dangers

All God s Dangers won the National Book Award in 1975 On a cold January morning in 1969, a young white graduate student from Massachusetts, stumbling along the dim trail of a long defunct radical organization of the 1930s, the Alabama Sharecropper Union, heard that there was a survivor and went looking for him In a rural settlement 20 miles or so from Tuskegee in east cAll God s Dangers won the National Book Award in 1975 On a cold January morning in 1969, a young white graduate student from Massachusetts, stumbling along the dim trail of a long defunct radical organization of the 1930s, the Alabama Sharecropper Union, heard that there was a survivor and went looking for him In a rural settlement 20 miles or so from Tuskegee in east central Alabama he found him the man he calls Nate Shaw a black man, 84 years old, in full possession of every moment of his life and every facet of its meaning Theodore Rosengarten, the student, had found a black Homer, bursting with his black Odyssey and able to tell it with awesome intellectual power, with passion, with the almost frightening power of memory in a man who could neither read nor write but who sensed that the substance of his own life, and a million other black lives like his, were the very fiber of the nation s history H Jack Geiger, New York Times Book Review
All God s Dangers All God s Dangers won the National Book Award in On a cold January morning in a young white graduate student from Massachusetts stumbling along the dim trail of a long defunct radical orga

  • Title: All God's Dangers
  • Author: Theodore Rosengarten
  • ISBN: 9780679727613
  • Page: 341
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “All God's Dangers”

    1. This book is absolutely incredible and everyone, especially Americans, should read it. No offense, but the reader who makes the comment that the book, told in Nate Shaw's voice, was confusing because of the colloquialisms should, in my humble opinion, be ignored. I admit, it was a bit jarring at first, but then after a while it's like having his voice inside your head and that is the whole point. You get to know how this man's mind works and you see the society through his eyes. This man tells i [...]

    2. This review contains spoilers.This review is quite long. Here is a tl;dr: Ned Cobb (1885-1973), also known as Nate Shaw, was a black farmer in Alabama. Ned succeeded in life despite mistreatment and the horrible racism of the American South during the Jim Crow years. He fought constantly against the blackguards who hated his skin. The man is an inspiration.And here's a little something I wrote after reading this book and listening to too much Dylan, Guthrie—father and son—and Seeger.Talkin' [...]

    3. Theodore Rosengarten stumbled upon Nate Shaw, by chance, when Nate Shaw was 85 years old and living in his home and only state of Alabama. Although Nate, his real name being Ned Cobb, could not read or write, his memory for his eight and a half decades on this earth was impeccable. Mr. Rosengarten sat down with him on several occasions and recorded his life and made an autobiography out of his story. That story is contained in the 600 pages of All God's Dangers.Nate Shaw lived during the time af [...]

    4. I was profoundly touched by this biography of Nate Cobb, aka Nate Shaw. What a great storyteller he was and such an honorable man! With Integrity, dignity, humour, and wisdom, Nate narrates his life as a poor black man from the 1880's through to the Civil Rights Movement. Although he was illiterate, Nate's keen observational skills and his innate intelligence bring insight into the rural culture of the Southern US, especially the relationship between the whites and blacks at that time. Rosengart [...]

    5. WWWEEEELLLLLL.I wanted to like this book more than I did. It's a very detailed and moving first person account of the life of a black man whose father was a freed slave. However, the recorder of this oral history could have edited it much more tightly. I appreciate that he has tried to maintain the rhythm and the digressive patterns of Mr. Shaw's story telling, but in the process he has included so many repetitions that the narrator began to feel to me like an overly chatty person seated next to [...]

    6. Nate Shaw is indeed a gifted story teller. His pace and timing and rhythm have depth and structure, like a good bourbon. I have long loved Huckleberry Finn, but I like this better. He grows up mostly used and abused by his father (as Huck was by Pap), and submits far longer than he has to, in a Confucian sort of filial respect more for the principle of fatherhood than the man. He allows his father to direct all his labor, to hire him out and to collect all his earnings, until the day he turns tw [...]

    7. This is a remarkable book. Rosengarten has allowed Nate Shaw to tell his life story in his own words and in his own way. Some people will undoubtedly get impatient with Nate's way of telling his story. "Do I really need to know that much about mules." I read the book in short stretches, often stopping when I got bored. I couldn't resist going back to read more. I felt as though I knew Nate and, after a while, almost as if I had an obligation to hear him out. Nate Shaw was a remarkable man. Getti [...]

    8. I fell in love with Nate Shaw. The story of Nate Shaw is amazing. He is a real man. His story is the same story so many oppressed people have experienced. His story is the same story many people in other countries are experiencing now due to the corporate world continuing to seek cheap labor to exploit. This story is told from the perspective of Nate Shaw. There are few accounts like it and when I see what is happening in Jamacia, in India, etc big corporations seek to control what food people c [...]

    9. I loved reading Nate Shaw's stories in his oral autobiography. I am disappointed that I won't be "hearing" him anymore, and getting just a small grasp on the difficult life of a black sharecropper, son of a man born in slavery. It's really remarkable and different from just about anything I've ever read. Nate was illiterate and didn't have two nickels to rub together, but he stood up for what he believed in and contributed to the better conditions blacks live under today - and spent twelve years [...]

    10. Boring in extremis, but probably interesting to anthropologists, writers doing research, and overzealous lovers of humanity.

    11. Necessary, VitalThe same year this book was published also gave us All the President's Men. But it was All God's Dangers that won the National Book Award. A must read, this subtle and delicate piece of storytelling seeps into you, working its magic until the end. It feels like a novel, the way it occupies your mind and heart while you read. It's a vital book.

    12. I LVOE THIS BOOK! I taught it to my students--both undergrad and grad--and they loved it, too. This is one of the best books I have ever read. Nate Shaw/Ned Cobb had an incredible intellect and memory. His story engages the reader on many levels, and we are left with admiration and wonder that this great man lived such a humble life. I wish I had read this year's before, for it gives me hope that perhaps the lives of sharecroppers and tenant farmers were not as destitute and hopeless as they oft [...]

    13. There is a difference between an autobiography and an audio-autobiography. No doubt Nate Shaw was a unique character, a hard working, smart, honest man at a time when these characteristics could get a Black man in "a heap of trouble." The stories he recalled, the situations he described, the relationships he had were not at all unique in his day and age but the fact that he survived them and could recite the names, dates, and situations of these events that took place 50 or more years earlier is [...]

    14. I read All God's Dangers not long after it came out in paperback. I was a college student then, and I still can't think of a book that has impressed me more. I was completely drawn into the world of Nate Shaw, a black share cropper from Alabama, as he moves through his long life recounting his experiences and the catalog of injustices done to blacks in the South. By hard work and sheer force of will combined with intelligence and an unfailing moral compass, Nate Shaw perseveres in circumstances [...]

    15. I am from Alabama and have been to the part of the state where Shaw/Cobb lived (NW of Auburn). This book rings true to life, especially for the changing period of time that it covers (1900 to 1940). I can understand why some find the narration discombobulating, but in lightly editing Shaw's stories Rosengarten allows for his narrator to speak with his own voice; a voice which was rarely heard by the broader society during the time period covered in the book and which has been mostly forgotten to [...]

    16. This is something of an oral history. Rosengarten, doing his graduate work, stumbled on Nate Shaw (a pseudonym), one of those natural storytellers. This book is so fluid that it almost reads itself, or at least carries the reader along with the current. Along the way, Shaw illustrates the hard-scrabble life of a tenant farmer in the South under Jim Crow. Amazingly enough, Shaw's pure talent as a storyteller (no doubt ably assisted by some judicious editing) makes the book both engrossing without [...]

    17. Rosengarten discovered Nate Shaw (really a pseudonym) and tapped his memories for this amazingly in-depth account of life in Alabama from the 1880s to the 1970s. It's a fascinating social history. I would have never read this but it's a fascinating performance on audio. Narrator Crisden's riveting reading highlights the storytelling qualities of Shaw's memories, rambling and full of colloquialisms. Winner of 1974 National Book Award against strong contenders: Studs Terkel, Robert Pirsig, Woodwar [...]

    18. This is a very entertaining and interesting book - only the rambling style keeps it from the fifth star. As I read Nate's stories about the life of a Black sharecropper in the Jim Crow era, I kept hearing my own grandfather's stories about rural Arkansas during the same era - very similar stories, from the "other" perspective. This book is enlightening and uplifting from start to finish. Nate Shaw was a truly remarkable man.

    19. Why this came to mind to review now I'm not sure. It just popped into my head with the memory that when I read it twenty-plus years ago I thought it was a book everyone should read. Magnificent! Thank you, Mr Rosengarten. The only reason I'm not shelving it in favorites non-fiction is that (I think ) I've read everything on that shelf twice. I should read it again! You should read it if you haven't.

    20. This autobiography of Nate Shaw, a sharecropper in Tukabahchee County Alabama, is a rich and authentic portrait of the South from 1885 to 1973 when Shaw died. It reveals much about the history of race relations and agricultural economics in this country. It is a long read at 575 pages but quite remarkable.

    21. As good as a narrative by an illiterate black man who lived through the struggle of life in a Jim Crow south could possibly get. Highly interesting, but I have a little trouble reading so much incorrect grammar at times. Rosengarten does a good job at organizing the narrative, but it is still difficult to understand the chronology entirely.

    22. An inspirational protagonist brings life to the Jim Crow South through remembering with remarkable detail the oppressive systems he faced as a black sharecropper. Sometimes it was hard to see the bigger picture during Nate Shaw's conversational, rambling prose, but still does a fantastic job of depicting the times.

    23. A massive oral autobiography, impressive in its detail and coherence, indeed Faulknerian in milieu, perspective, and concerns—but lacking Faulkner's exquisite language and artistic shaping. That's not to say that Shaw's voice is not compelling and commanding, though. He was an amazing man, and I learned a lot from this book, the type of book you seem to experience more than read.

    24. I read this book too long ago to give details, but I have never heard of a more courageous, intelligent and resourceful person than Nate Shaw. This fascinating account of his life inspires faith in the human potential.

    25. Nate Shaw, sharecropper, loves to talk, and tell stories its a treat to listen to his life as he remembers it, living a good life, through troubles and disdain, and injustice. Very cinematic, I am surprised its not a movie.

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