Bookstore » Praise

Praise for Behind the Magic Curtain

About the Book
T. K. Thorne has hit another home run with Behind the Magic Curtain. For five and a half decades we have read accounts of the civil rights era in Birmingham and Selma written by those with a particular ax to grind. Thorne is an excellent reporter, recognizing the nuances that outsiders or opinionated journalists could not see or chose to overlook. Her reading and especially her interviews over the past several years have been remarkable, allowing her to give a far more accurate chronicle than we have had before. For those who want to know the secrets of what really went on behind the 'magic curtain' in those pivotal nation-changing days, days that brought the Civil Rights Bill in 1964 and the Voting Rights Bill in 1965, this is an important book to read.
Deeply engaging, Behind the Magic Curtain tells a forgotten part of the Birmingham story, prompting many memories. Lively writing brings the characters and settings to life and provides a picture of the white community’s role in all its complexity. This is a treasure trove of stories not well known to the general public. In particular, journalist Tom Lankford’s sleuthing and the machinations of the Birmingham Police Department, along with the risk-averse role of the local newspapers and a full-blown portrait of the inscrutable Birmingham News VIP Vincent Townsend, make for a fascinating read.
Novelist and former Birmingham police captain T. K. Thorne demonstrates there was more to the Birmingham of the civil rights era than Bull Connor, Klansmen, and African American protestors. Behind that “magic curtain,” an ethnically diverse group from downtown to the surrounding bedroom communities of ministers, priests, rabbis, newspaper reporters, and housewives comprised a community belying monikers like “Bombingham” and “Murder Capital of America” and fighting for justice in the Magic City.
T. K. writes like a seasoned news editor, meticulously hunting down facts and laying out the context in a colorful, intriguing account. Behind the Magic Curtain documents many untold stories and faithfully relates my own personal, unforgettable memories of a time of racial transition in Birmingham.