“Paul Robeson was an artistic genius, moral titan, and courageous freedom fighter whom we must never forget!”
— Dr. Cornel West
"Sharon Rudahl's graphic biography of Paul Robeson is vivid, well-informed, and deeply moving--a compelling account of a towering American hero, whose courage is more inspiring than ever at this fraught historical moment."
— Jackson Lears
"With powerful drawings, meticulous attention to historical detail, and deep appreciation for his wife, Eslanda Goode Robeson, Rudahl, Buhle, and Ware provide us with a deeply moving tribute to the enormous talent, courage and genius of Paul Robeson."
— Bettina Aptheker
"With extraordinary rhythm, these arresting drawings and captivating words seamlessly weave insights from critical race theory, global politics, Marxist theory, cultural studies, and historical criticism to narrate the inimitable life of Paul Robeson. Robeson's story is as much a meditation on black aliveness in the face of systemic racism today as it is an insightful history of one man's fortitude against government persecution of yesteryear. This graphic biography captivated me from the first page - I couldn't put it down! It will be a classic in the genre."
— Andre C. Willis
"Ballad of an American
takes a creative and thoughtful approach to sharing the life story of the great artist-activist. It is a welcome addition to the body of literature on Paul Robeson."
— Lindsey R. Swindall
"[Ballad of an American
] carries an inspiring message at a time in which our country is living amidst the most far-reaching civil rights movement in its modern-day political history."
"When Paul Robeson Became a Star: From the First-Ever Graphic Biography of the American Icon" excerpt
— Literary Hub
"The first-ever graphic biography of alumnus Paul Robeson RC1919 is a suitable introduction to his remarkable life, from his birth in Princeton, New Jersey, to his athletic and academic accolades at Rutgers to his worldwide fame as a film and stage star."
— Rutgers Magazine
"A Public Affair," WORT-FM interview with Sharon Rudahl
— "A Public Affair," WORT
"BOOKS: NON-FICTION: Ballad of an American: A Graphic Biography of Paul Robeson"
— Zinn Project Education
"Paul Robeson, Political Outlaw: Lessons for Today from the Black Radical Tradition: Greg Carr in Conversation with Jesse Hagopian"
— Zinn Project Education
"Social Justice Books: A Teaching for Change Project"
— Teaching for Change
"A unique mix of art, history, and radical narrative. It is a welcome introduction to Robeson’s unsurpassed contributions to the struggles for workers’ rights, African American equality, peace, and—yes—socialism....Ballad of an American
is highly recommended and would make a great stocking-stuffer this holiday season."
— People's World
"Much of this book is dedicated to Robeson’s political maturity and actions on behalf of the earliest civil rights movement. Also, beautifully depicted in the book is his 1934 visit to the Soviet Union following an invitation from Soviet film director Sergei Eisenstein. Rudahl tells and shows the reader how Robeson stared down and confronted Nazi guards in Berlin as he, Essie and friend Mary Seton anxiously boarded their train into Russia."
"Ballad of an American
, released in 2019 on the 100th anniversary of Robeson’s graduation from Rutgers University, brings his creative and powerful historical presence to life through Rudahl’s striking graphic text and Buhle’s and Ware’s excellent afterword. Rudahl’s review of Robeson’s life is a needed antidote to the long and shameful efforts to erase his legacy and drop him down Orwell’s memory hole of history."
— Monthly Review
"If there is one thing to take away from “Ballad of an American,” it’s that all art is political—not can be
, but is
....Rudahl’s moving graphic biography of Robeson is a reminder that artists and creatives can still make an impact today, whether through song, comics, or bite-sized video."
— Democratic Left: A Publication of Democratic Socialists of America
"Captures the essence of why Robeson’s story is a must-read for all Americans."
"This book represents another graphic novel approach to teaching Black history. This time the focus is the actor and activist Paul Robeson, who is a figure worth studying because his legacy is so complex. He fought vigorously against white supremacy and was a committed Communist, even when people who shared his views started distancing themselves from the party. Robeson’s story invites us to grapple with complexity."
— Book Riot
"Q&A: Sharon Rudahl: Graphic novelist honors performer, activist Paul Robeson," by G.M. Burns
"We all still stand in the shadow of this tall tree. May the leaves of this volume inspire many."
— Dig Boston
"Sharon Rudahl does a magnificent job of highlighting the key details of Paul Robeson’s astonishing life."
"Interview with Underground Comix Artist Sharon Rudahl"
— Comic Grinders
"PHS Senior Talks with Eyewitness to History"
— TAP into Princeton