Nationwide ( -- With the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870, African Americans obtained the right to vote, a right that was to "not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." Until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 nearly a full century later, however, most eligible black voters were kept from the polls through literacy tests, poll taxes, and property requirements imposed upon them by white segregationists across the South.

In BENDING TOWARD JUSTICE: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy(Basic Books; April 9, 2013), award-winning historian Gary May describes how African Americans finally overcame these longstanding obstacles to secure their most fundamental right as citizens - an achievement codified in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. "Marked by heroism and sacrifice, oppression and triumph," May writes, "the origins of the Voting Rights Act reveal both its necessity and its promise."

With Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act currently being challenged in the Supreme Court, it is clear that the fight for voting rights is by no means over. BENDING TOWARD JUSTICE, the only book to fully examine the Voting Rights Act, offers a gripping, in-depth account of a critical turning point in American history as well as a necessary reminder of how courage and sacrifice are necessary to preserve our most precious freedoms.

About The Author
Gary May is a Professor of History at the University of Delaware. He is the winner of the Allan Nevins Prize of the Society of American Historians and author of four books, including The Informant: The FBI, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Murder of Viola Liuzzo. May lives in Newark, Delaware.

About The Book
Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy
By Gary May
Published by Basic Books
Publication date: April 9, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-465-01846-8
$28.99 (US) / $32.00 (CAN) • Hardcover • 336 pages
E-Book ISBN: 978-0-465-05073-4