Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change by John Lewis

How can we go about achieving lasting social and political change? How much war must we visit upon ourselves before we recognize that war does not work?

As the last living leader of the Civil Rights Movement and an American hero to many, Congressman John Lewis continues to work toward building a better world. He was a key player in the struggle to end segregation; a campaigner and friend to presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy until his assassination; a confidant to Martin Luther King Jr., whose vision and efforts Lewis carried on to subsequent generations; one of the thirteen original Freedom Riders; and an eyewitness to many momentous occasions in American history over the last fifty years of working in public service.

Despite being rejected, hated, and jailed-and even after being witness to betrayal, corruption, and conspiracy-Congressman Lewis believes that the people can work together toward lasting social change and asserts that worldwide change can be achieved through nonviolent means. In his inspirational new book, Congressman Lewis shares his life story-the lessons he learned as one who dreamed, worked, and struggled in America’s last revolution-and describes the work he believes is necessary to move this country forward. He declares that to revolutionize society, we must first revolutionize ourselves, and if we want to demand transformation of others, we must first be the change we seek. Social evolution starts from within, Lewis says.

Each chapter of ACROSS THAT BRIDGE discusses one virtue-faith, patience, truth, love, peace, study, and reconciliation-that, when combined with all the others, comprises Lewis’s philosophy of life. By sharing personal stories that focus on political and social events throughout history, Lewis discusses the moments where he came to understand the power of those virtues and reflects on the moments that challenged his commitment to them as well.

ACROSS THAT BRIDGE reflects the values of patience with persistence, progressive faith, and principled behavior that can lead to individual and collective transformation. It is this kind of persistence, faith, and moral authority that can bring about what Lewis calls “creative disruption” and usher in a nonviolent revolution of values bringing about fundamental social change.

“Democracy is not a state; it is an act. It is a series of actions we all must take to help build a Beloved Community.”
-Congressman John Lewis

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