Vernon Can Read!
Author: Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.
From Publishers WeeklyDismayed that his daughter, Vickee, showed little true comprehension of the
world of the Deep South in which he grew up, a world of forced servility and oppression toward blacks,
Jordan decided that telling his story would help to "bridge that gap" between their experiences. He set out
to write a "very personal take on the black experience since the end of the Second World War." The title
of this memoir comes from an incredulous outburst by Robert Maddox, "one of the leading figures in
Atlanta's white elite" for whom Jordan worked as a chauffeur while home from college on summer break.
The irony is that, although Jordan can write, the actual reading of his writing leaves much to be desired.
Often a writer's reading of their own words adds depth to the work. Unfortunately, that formula fails here.
The listener does not get the sense of being spoken to; instead Jordan reads in a somewhat formal,
oratorical tone. Although the work does a fine job of chronicling the progress of blacks in Jordan's lifetime,
it does not delve very deeply into Jordan's personal feelings and beliefs. This production's lack of
personality echoes that sentiment. Based on the Public Affairs hardcover (Forecasts, Oct. 15,
2001).Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable
edition of this title.From Library JournalMany will remember Jordan as a close friend of former president
Bill Clinton who tried to help intern Monica Lewinsky get a job after she left the White House. Few will
note that he was the Georgia field director of the NAACP at the time civil rights leader Medgar Evers was
head of the same organization in Mississippi. Jordan also served as executive director of the United
Negro College Fund and eventually became president of the National Urban League after the death of
Whitney Young. He attended DePaul University in the early days of the Civil Rights movement and
worked to secure the rights of blacks in Georgia. This is a standard, run-of-the-mill autobiography until
Jordan reveals the assassination attempt on his life and his decision to leave the Urban League to join a
private law firm. The author's reading is flat at points, and his Southern accent and mispronunciations are
grating; one wishes that an actor had been employed to provide some emotion and continuity to the
narration. Recommended for libraries with African American history, biography, and American studies
collections. Danna Bell-Russel, Library of CongressCopyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This
text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.