"Working with Alicia was a pleasure. She certainly listened and took all our ideas to heart. More than that, she turned them into something way beyond our imagination and dreams. She made our home look incredible, simply incredible." - Karen V


"A powerful narrative of two men, two teams and the stirring battle for dignity and honor during a single tumultuous season in the 1960's South. Freedman masterfully brings to life the burning ambitions, the cleats on scrubgrass and the struggle for victory by these coaches and players not only as black athletes, but as men and as Americans. A riveting story not only of a season but of a country at the crossroads." — Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns

"When history writes people out, it is our job to write them back in. Samuel G. Freedman has done a marvelous job of that in Breaking the Line, his illuminating account of football and race in the South." — David Maraniss, author of When Pride Still Mattered and Clemente

"Samuel Freedman is one of our most gifted chroniclers of history recent and present. Breaking the Line is as particular in the humanity it portrays as it is important for the conflict it illuminates: an Iliad of college football and social justice." — Diane McWhorter, author of Carry Me Home

"Breaking the Line graphically captures the grim terror of Jim Crow worlds in the South that defined the lives of Jake Gaither and Eddie Robinson during their coaching careers at Florida A&M and Grambling. With his beautiful prose style, Sam Freedman frames black history and the Civil Rights Movement through the lens of football. Breaking the Line reads like a novel and offers the reader a deep understanding of how football and black history intersect." — William Ferris, author of Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues

"Breaking the Line is must reading for anyone interested in black history and how sport has impacted black history. Having co-authored the autobiography of Eddie Robinson, I know how important this 1967 game against Florida A&M for the black college championship was for Coach Robinson. His rivalry with FAMU coach Jake Gaither could have been the greatest coaching rivalry in the history of college football. Author Samuel Freedman captures the drama of the moment and gives the reader perspective on the times and the impact that the game would have on college football and on American society. It is a passionate and brilliant book." — Richard Lapchick, Director, Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport


It is no secret that journalism's mission is seriously imperiled these days, but in Letters to a Young Journalist, Samuel G. Freedman shows that the craft is not only worth pursuing but more crucial than ever. Freedman draws on his 30-year career as an award-winning practitioner and professor of journalism to inspire students and seasoned professionals alike with wise guidance, penetrating insights, and astonishing anecdotes. In this updated edition, Freedman also addresses the recent unprecedented transformations within the industry -- changes with which journalists at every level now have to contend.

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"A son's moving search into his mother's past. Sam Freedman uses a journalist's eye for detail and the passion of a great memoirist for truth. He manages to shed light on immigrant Jewish life in New York in the mid twentieth century, and the particular ramifications of that life on a woman. This book will resonate with any reader wanting to connect with a rich and tender past."— Wendy Wasserstein, author of The Heidi Chronicles

Who She Was is a marvel of re-creative history. Rescuing a complex life from the cloudiness of apocrypha and sentimentality, Samuel Freedman fleshes out every child's terra incognita — 'her life before me' — fastidiously reconstructing his mother's youth, adolescence and young-womanhood in the working-class Jewish east and west Bronx of the 30's,40's and 50's. Eleanor Hatkin emerges from this work as fully and unsparingly realized as any heroine in modern American literature; and here lies a secondary marvel; for all its journalistic exactitude, every page reads as dramatically taut and willfully crafted as a novel." — Richard Price, author of Clockers

"Who She Was is a precise, meticulous recreation of a woman's experience that attempts — as does all great literature — to take a stand against time and loss and insignificance. Within the pages of what the author humbly calls this "imperfect, impermanent reincarnation," a young woman, an era, and a culture now lost is restored through diligent research, eloquent prose, and a son's tender impulse to redeem his mother's brief life." — Alice McDermott, author of Charming Billy

"Apparently a memoir of one family, one mother, this story encompasses the brave, sad, fantastic tale of the Jewish struggle in America. It catches the triumph in our history while daring to look closely at our private failures, and mourn them. This book includes the way we love each other, the way we stand together, our flawed souls flapping in the historical wind while the changing times flow through each of us, impossible to avoid." —Anne Roiphe, author of Loving Kindness and Generation Without Memory

"Samuel Freedman's Who She Was is a tribute to both its subject -- the power of motherhood and the mysteries of familial love -- and to its readers: beautifully written, deeply moving, this memoir is not only a delightful read, but it is also a testament to how every life is a living and memorable embodiment of the past and history. One feels the author's affection and wonderment for his subject on every page -- altogether it is a remarkable book deserving of a wide audience. " —Oscar Hijuelos, author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love

> Read an excerpt

> Reading Group Guide (.doc)

> Reviews

> Order the book from Amazon

> Interviews with Sam Freedman

> Simon & Schuster website

> Click to download the bibliography (Word document).



Won the Jewish Book Award for nonfiction from the Jewish Book Council. The judges said: "Jew vs. Jew is a thoughtful and beautifully written assessment of the precarious situation of Jewish identity in America today."

"Jew vs. Jew" was named one of the top books of 2000 by The New York Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World and the Jerusalem Post.

> Read an excerpt


> Senator Joseph Lieberman says: "From Sam Freedman’s eloquent and fair new book, there emerges a provocative picture of the Jewish community in America that has both flourished in the unprecedented freedom and acceptance this country has provided and been divided and diminished by that freedom."

> Reviews

> Buy the book from Amazon


> Read reviews and buy the book from Amazon
> Read reviews and buy the book from Amazon
> Read reviews and buy the book from Amazon


Reviews of INTO THE BRIGHT SUNSHINE by Samuel G. Freedman

“Compelling. . . . Freedman offers an intimate and fine-grained depiction of Humphrey’s early life and fledgling political career, as well as a revealing portrait of Minneapolis, a city of both gut-wrenching racism and creative civil rights initiatives.” -- Aram Goudsouzian, The Washington Post

“A powerful and captivating read.” -- Richard Aldous, The Wall Street Journal

“Freedman's account, with its you-are-there immediacy, will absorb history enthusiasts and anyone interested in the early years of the civil rights movement. He restores Humphrey to his rightful place in American politics, and reminds readers that America's battles over access and equality have deep roots in a long, anguished past.” -- Mary Ann Gwinn, The Star Tribune

“[A] richly textured portrait of Humphrey.” -- Phil Cornell, The Star Ledger

“Masterfully researched and reported. . . . What is striking about Freedman's agile telling of the tale of Humphrey's emergence as a national figure is that, because the book is so compelling and ennobling of the Minnesotan, the reader is left with an even deeper sense of loss--and with the aching question of what might have been.” -- John Nichols, The Progressive

"Scrupulous and involving. . . . [Into the Bright Sunshine is] a deep-breath kind of spotlight, a much-needed assessment of the man and his lifelong passions.” -- Steve Donaghue, Open Letters Review

"A strong step in rehabilitating Humphrey's image as a practical politician and civil rights activist." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Freedman enlarges the reader's understanding of Humphrey while also offering vivid, rich, and unsettling details about politics, society, racism, and antisemitism in mid-twentieth-century America...An illuminating look at an important yet overlooked facet of American history." -- John Rowen, Booklist

“Samuel Freedman's work conscally graceful prose and meticulous research illuistently elevates the craft of writing and Into the Bright Sunshine is no exception. His characteristiminate not only Hubert Humphrey's life but the promise and peril of his political moment. The result is an adroit chronicle of a giant obscured by the passage of time and a key entry in the history of American liberalism and the roots of its current predicament.” —Jelani Cobb

“With insight and grace, Samuel G. Freedman has given us a compelling and important account of Hubert H. Humphrey’s critical role in the the freedom struggles of the mid-2039th century. It takes nothing away from the sacrifices and bravery of Black Americans to note Humphrey’s commitment to achieving justice for all — the great goal of America’s still-unfinished journey.”

— Jon Meacham, author of And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle

“At the 1948 Democratic Convention, Hubert Humphrey implored the Party and nation to make civil rights the cause of the 20th century. Samuel Freedman’s insightful book provides a critical account of not only Humphrey’s path to that moment but also of the Minneapolis leaders and activists who fought for justice in Minnesota and who shaped the man who would become one of our nation’s greatest champions for equality. Freedman’s book reminds us that while so much progress has been made, all of us must continue to walk ‘towards that bright sunshine of human rights.’” — Senator Amy Klobuchar

Into The Bright Sunshine accomplishes that rare triumph of being two books at once: Freedman has crafted both a definitive biography of Hubert Humphrey so vivid that we can almost hear H.H's heart thump on the page, as well as a rigorous investigation into the moral, spiritual and political forces that have shaped the best of liberalism in America.” — Eliza Griswold, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Amity and Prosperity

“In a lively, eloquent, deeply human way, Samuel Freedman brings his lifelong passion for social justice to a key turning point in our still-unfinished battle for true equality. Even people like me who disagreed with Hubert Humphrey over Vietnam will come away from this book with a deepened respect for the man who dragged his reluctant party to take a stand for civil rights.” — Adam Hochschild

“Samuel Freedman, one of the great chroniclers of modern America, provides us with a fascinating history of racial liberalism in Cold War America, unpacking the origin story of Hubert Humphrey's pathbreaking speech at the 1948 Democratic National Convention. Capturing a pivotal moment in the history of civil rights politics, Freedman's book is a significant contribution to the literature on American politics.” — Julian Zelizer, Princeton University, author of The Fierce Urgency of Now