Cover image for Bridging the river of hatred : the pioneering efforts of Detroit Police Commissioner George Edwards
Bridging the river of hatred : the pioneering efforts of Detroit Police Commissioner George Edwards
Stolberg, Mary M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Detroit : Wayne State University Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
347 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV7911.E37 S76 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



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.

Author Notes

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

Reviews 1

Choice Review

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. Edwards, who was roundly criticized by conservatives for being committed to social justice and having a "social work" approach to crime, experienced tremendous resistance to his innovations from the police bureaucracy. In retrospect, many of the reforms advocated by Edwards, such as community policing, prefigured changes in policing that have recently been implemented in major cities. The strength of this book is that it shows that determined leadership can make a difference. Unfortunately, Edwards's innovations were later undermined by the changing political economy of Detroit. Stolberg's book is the study of a microcosm of political reactions to a leader committed to civil rights during this era. Students of urban affairs, African American history, and law enforcement can gain valuable insights from this work, especially because Detroit is such an important example of a city in turmoil in the 1960s. All levels. P. Seybold Indiana University-Bloomington