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Bayard Rustin: Troubles I've Seen: A Biography
By Jervis Anderson
(HarperCollins, 418 pages, $30)
Besides being a brilliant political strategist and organizer, Bayard Rustin was one of the civil rights movement's most vivid and original personalities. A close aide to Martin Luther King, Rustin played a pivotal role in mobilizing the American conscience against Jim Crow. By the time of his death in 1987 at the age of 75, however, Rustin was reviled by much of the civil rights establishment, and today he is nearly forgotten. Fortunately, New Yorker magazine staff writer Jervis Anderson's admirable biography of Rustin brings the old fighter to life. It also offers a succinct history of the civil rights movement's rise and fall.