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Bridging the River of Hatred

The Pioneering Efforts of Detroit Police Commissioner George Edwards

Mary M. Stolberg

African American Studies, Detroit, History, Race and Ethnicity

Great Lakes Books Series

Published: May 2002
ISBN: 9780814325735
Pages: 368 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 23 black and white images

The strength of this book is that it shows that determined leadership can make a difference.

— Choice

Bridging the River of Hatred portrays the career of George Clifton Edwards, Jr., Detroit's visionary police commissioner whose efforts to bring racial equality, minority recruiting, and community policing to Detroit's police department in the early 1960s met with much controversy within the city's administration. At a crucial time when the Civil Rights movement was gaining momentum and hostility between urban police forces and African Americans was close to eruption, Edwards chose solving racial and urban problems as his mission. Incorporating material from a manuscript that Edwards wrote before his death, supplemented by historical research, Stolberg provides a rare case study of problems in policing, the impoverishment of American cities, and the evolution of race relations during the turbulent 1960s. Edwards' vision and hope for Detroit gives depth to the national view of Detroit as a symbol of urban decline and offers lessons to be applied to current social and urban problems.

Mary Stolberg, a former reporter for the Pittsburgh Press, is the author of Fighting Organized Crime (Northeastern University Press, 1995).

Stolberg's compelling book tells the story of the political career of George Edwards. Focusing on Edwards's term as police commissioner for Detroit, the author closely examines the strengths and weaknesses of liberalism as applied to community relations in the city....The strength of this book is that it shows that determined leadership can make a difference. . . . Students of urban affairs, African American history, and law enforcement can gain valuable insights from this work.

– Choice

In her book, Ms. Stolberg lets us meet Judge Edwards in a glorious testimony to his early works while at the same time providing a scholarly work for those studying American racial politics from our century's midpoint . . . a fascinating look at the overt nature of Northern racism in the middle of the century.

– Post Living