Best nonfiction books of 2010
My hat is off, too, to Isabel Wilkerson, for the staggering quantity of research — 15 years' worth — that went into "The Warmth of Other Suns." Like Hessler, Wilkerson chronicles a migration. Between 1915 and 1970, 6 million African-Americans fled the Jim Crow South; Wilkerson refracts that history through the lives of three transplants who settle in Harlem, Chicago, and San Francisco. The resulting book has the heft of Herodotus and the ventriloquism of Terkel. It challenges received wisdom about the Great Migration and documents the way our country was remade by the decentralized decisions of millions of African-Americans to seek a better life.