In 1955, Rosa Parks, an African American seamstress, had no idea she was changing history when, fed up and tired, she refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a bus in segregated Alabama. Today, she is immortalized for the defiance that sent her to jail and triggered a bus boycott that catapulted Martin Luther King Jr. into the national spotlight. Who was she, before and after her historic act, and how did that act sound the death knell for Jim Crow? Historian Douglas Brinkley brings mid-twentieth-century America alive in this brilliant examination of a celebrated heroine in the context of her life and tumultuous times. Here is the quiet dignity, hope, courage, and humor that have made this every-woman a living legend.