In my journey to explore the Harlem Renaissance, I started with this book. I felt the author gave a good basic view of the era but he left out the soul. He focused on six or seven primary personalities of the time, from Langston Hughes to Zora Neale Hurston, and tied the times into their existence. I was left feeling like there had to be more about the era. The author also chases around issues of major character homosexuality, stating it but not really being clear about it. I was ready for it to end.
I read this book in hardcover as well as several others for a paper I wrote. The author was able to take the disparate threads of musicians, artists, writers and benefactors who contributed to the Renaissance and weave together a chronology that contained pictures, specific information about the "hotspots" in Harlem and complete, sometimes intimate portraits of all concerned. If the Harlem Renaissance was ever to be depicted in a movie, this book would be a ready-made screen play. The hardcover edition is worth the extra money.