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The journey white Southerners travel in this riveting memoir, from virulent racism to acceptance of blacks' civil rights, is as momentous as any in American history. Zellner moved a shorter distance-son of a progressive, integrationist minister from Alabama, he had his family's support when he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1961. A frontline participant in many civil rights battles, he was jailed, beaten, slashed, shot at by police and taken on a terrifying night ride by Klansmen as they debated whether to lynch him. He's also a canny observer of major figures in the struggle, from SNCC legend Robert Moses to segregationist stalwart George Wallace. Zellner comes off as confident, even cocky-especially in his many arguments with racist antagonists, of which he has an implausible verbatim recall-but the constant menace of howling white mobs, vicious cops and Klan terrorists takes its toll. The result is a testament both to the courage of civil rights activists and to the hatred they overcame; when Zellner survives to see white and black workers come together for a wildcat strike, it seems almost miraculous. Photos. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.