The March trilogy is really one story broken into three books because of length. So it is hard to review them as separate books. The first book is clearly an introduction and its main focus is the lunch counter protests in Nashville.
Books two and three of the March Trilogy are longer, give a broader historical picture and also are darker. The movement as a whole, the longer into the Civil Rights era you get, the more controversy and frustration that is part of the history. A memorable line, when talking about the March on Washington, is Lewis’ noting that, of all of the speakers that day, only Lewis is still alive to talk about it.
John Lewis was committed, ideologically and strategically to non-violence. He was the leader of the younger, and somewhat more radical SNCC as opposed to the more moderate leaders that were under the NAACP or SCLC. But the commitment to non-violence in the face of continued violence of police and others helped to divide the civil rights movement.
The graphic novel format I think is particularly helpful in telling the Civil Rights story. Not just because the story keeps moving and the action can be visualized so easily. But also because there is something more real about violence when it is visualized. Even though Nate Powell’s art is not particularly graphic, adults armed with clubs or fire hoses racing at children or adults that are not fighting back carries an impact.
I do not want to say that the March Trilogy is a ‘must read’ because of the baggage that carries. But this is a series that I would highly recommend, even if you are not a traditional reader of graphic novels. This is recent history. And in the face of continued civil rights struggles, understanding the history of those struggles seems even more important.
I purchased the first book on sale as a Kindle Edition. By the time I finished the kindle edition, I purchased the whole trilogy in paperback so I could give it away. But once I purchased the paperback, there is a discount on the Kindle Editions of the same volume. At the time I purchased them, the 1st and 3rd where on sale for kindle. But the second was not. When I started putting together this review, I realized that I was being offered the 2nd book for $2.99 because I had previously purchased on the paperback. So had I realized that before, I would have saved several dollars just buying the paperbacks to give away, and then picking up the Kindle Edition for the storage library.
In general I do not care to read books in paper. But there is some benefit to reading comics in a paper format, although it is nice to be able to zoom in using the kindle format.
March (Books 2 and 3) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell Purchase Links: (Book 2) Paperback, Kindle Edition (Book 3) Paperback, Kindle Edition, Complete Set Paperback