Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy

Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy

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by Bruce Watson
     
 

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A majestic history of the summer of '64, which forever changed race relations in America

In the summer of 1964, with the civil rights movement stalled, seven hundred college students descended on Mississippi to register black voters, teach in Freedom Schools, and live in sharecroppers' shacks. But by the time their first night in the state had ended,

Overview

A majestic history of the summer of '64, which forever changed race relations in America

In the summer of 1964, with the civil rights movement stalled, seven hundred college students descended on Mississippi to register black voters, teach in Freedom Schools, and live in sharecroppers' shacks. But by the time their first night in the state had ended, three volunteers were dead, black churches had burned, and America had a new definition of freedom.

This remarkable chapter in American history, the basis for the controversial film Mississippi Burning, is now the subject of Bruce Watson's thoughtful and riveting historical narrative. Using in- depth interviews with participants and residents, Watson brilliantly captures the tottering legacy of Jim Crow in Mississippi and the chaos that brought such national figures as Martin Luther King Jr. and Pete Seeger to the state. Freedom Summer presents finely rendered portraits of the courageous black citizens-and Northern volunteers-who refused to be intimidated in their struggle for justice, and the white Mississippians who would kill to protect a dying way of life. Few books have provided such an intimate look at race relations during the deadliest days of the Civil Rights movement, and Freedom Summer will appeal to readers of Taylor Branch and Doug Blackmon.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Recreates the texture of that terrible yet rewarding summer with impressive verisimilitude."
-Washington Post

"Remarkable...a well-researched, vivid retelling of the 1964 civil rights crusade to put Mississippi's 200,000 disenfranchised blacks on the voting rolls...[an] important book."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"Elegantly written...A fascinating look at ordinary people at their best and worst...Riveting."
-Richmond Times-Dispatch

"An amazing account of one pivotal summer in the history of civil rights...with a thriller's pacing, the book forcefully describes the depravity and treachery behind the bombings, beatings and intimidation...and shows the physical and emotional costs of such a fight."
-The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Engrossing"
-The Economist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101190180
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/10/2010
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
217,807
File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Bruce Watson is an award-winning journalist whose articles have been published in Smithsonian, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Examiner, Yankee Magazine, and The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003.

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Freedom Summer 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is a fascinating insight into a key moment in the Civil Rights movement. When young men and women bravely traveled to Mississippi in 1964 to help African Americans register to vote in what became known as Freedom Summer. The most infamous incident of the period was the brutal assassination of three Civil Rights workers by the KKK in the town of Philadelphia. What makes this book especially gripping and worth reading in that the author was able to convince many volunteers to share their experiences, in some cases for the first time, of what they experienced. Thus, giving the reader a look behind the scenes at the hardship and extreme danger endured on a daily basis. I would definitely put this book on a must read list for anyone wanting to learn more about this period and am appreciative of their willingness to talk with the author.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Felt like i was reading a novel
Cody Crumb More than 1 year ago
FIRST!