Putnam native David Margolick has made a career of chronicling our nation’s historical records through the people who lived it. A contributing editor of Vanity Fair, Margolick has written four books, including Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Café Society and an Early Cry for Civil Rights
about Billie Holiday and Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling
. Elizabeth and Hazel
follows the lives of Elizabeth Eckford, one of the “Little Rock Nine”, and Hazel Bryan, who was photographed yelling racial slurs to Elizabeth on the fateful morning of September 4, 1957. Both girls were 15 years old and starting the year at Central High School in Little Rock. The picture, which is deliberately placed on the front cover, evokes the sentiments which divided Little Rock when desegregation was mandated by Brown vs the Board of Education in 1954. Elizabeth walked alone before a crowd of children and adults who were not in favor of blacks and whites attending the same school. Years later Hazel contacted Elizabeth to apologize, but the complications of race relations in their Southern society made the relationship difficult to sustain. Margolick skillfully tells the stories of the two women with compassion and candor.