Spies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement

Spies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement


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The Spies of Mississippi is a compelling story of how state spies tried to block voting rights for African Americans during the Civil Rights era. This book sheds new light on one of the most momentous periods in American history.

Author Rick Bowers has combed through primary-source materials and interviewed surviving activists named in once-secret files, as well as the writings and oral histories of Mississippi civil rights leaders. Readers get first-hand accounts of how neighbors spied on neighbors, teachers spied on students, ministers spied on church-goers, and spies even spied on spies.

The Spies of Mississippi will inspire readers with the stories of the brave citizens who overcame the forces of white supremacy to usher in a new era of hope and freedom—an age that has recently culminated in the election of Barack Obama.

National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426305955
Publisher: National Geographic Society
Publication date: 01/12/2010
Pages: 120
Sales rank: 268,828
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile: NC1290L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Rick Bowers is a journalist, songwriter, and head of creative projects for the AARP. He lives in Washington D.C.

Wade Henderson is the executive director of the Leadership Commission on Civil Rights.

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Spies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
real-reader More than 1 year ago
I thought I knew the broad outlines of the civil rights movement - but I never knew the extent the state of MS used spies to vilify, diminish and ruin the lives of private citizens. This book highlights a number of cases where Mississippi tossed aside the bill of rights and used a highly efficient spy network to keep tabs on its own black citizens and others. Why? These 'suspicious' folks had the nerve to try to vote, to go to a public school, to use the bathroom at a gas/bus station, to travel freely, to replace a white man in a factory job. The book introduces the Sovereignty Commission files - now on line at MDAH.org - that copiously details every movement of members of the NAACP and CORE during those fateful summers in the early 60's. The story of Clyde Kennard is extremely painful. Read this book, learn from the past. Morn the loss of potential denied to so many. Do better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unveiled the hidden truth
tonawandagirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Spies of Mississippi describes the creation and goings-on of the "Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission" created in 1956. The "Commission" was, in reality, a publically-funded state office to protect and maintain the institution of segregation. The book is written in dramatic fashion and reads almost like a mystery. The ruthlessness of the schemes that the members dream up is shocking as well as the suffering (including murder) inflicted on African Americans who want only to be treated as equals and on white civil rights workers campaigning on their behalf. It is a great read and would serve as an excellent complement to studies on integration taught in an American history class. It speaks to a topic of great importance to developing young adults--equity and justice--and I would think they would really enjoy this book. As testament to that, Bowers includes, in the last chapter ¿What Happened Next,¿ the story of the effort by students at Lincolnshire High School in Illinois to clear Clyde Kennard¿s name (p. 105). Kennard had been wrongly accused, convicted and imprisoned for theft, was diagnosed with cancer while in prison in Mississippi and died in 1963. The students, along with the Center for Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University, convinced Kennard¿s accuser to recent his testimony and Kennard¿s name was cleared. After his death and subsequent vindication, the University of Southern Mississippi named a building in his honor (p. 106).
ipomoea911 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is such an interesting subject that deserves much more well-written coverage than it gets from this book. Americans spying on other Americans based on their political beliefs and goals? It's a subject that's just as timely now as in the 50's and 60's. Unfortunately, the book's writing is flat, boring, and one-dimensional. I'd love to find a history book that covers this subject in more multi-dimensional detail, because that book is probably what I'd recommend to a patron instead of this one.
MarthaL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An intersting way to present information on the Civil rights movement. Recommended reading for
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a non-fiction book about segregation and the civil rights battles in Mississippi during the 1950¿s and 60¿s. The state, in an attempt to maintain segregation created a secret commission called the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission which was charged with doing whatever was necessary to prevent integration.
mamzel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have to admit I am not a lover of history as I find books frequently dry and quite frankly, boring. The topic of this book, however, sounded interesting, and since it was written for kids, by National Geographic, and was reasonably short, I thought I would give it a shot. It is "The true story of the spy network that tried to destroy the civil rights movement". Sounds promising, right?They sure managed to suck all of the tension, intrigue, and villany out of the topic. I was really disappointed. It's not even a good book for research on the topic although there are three pages of bibliographic references at the end. One bland fact after another tracing the history with only a smattering of quotes and primary source material. Four pages out of the book's 120 were given to photographs and there were a few pages of documents at the end. Otherwise, the writing was as even and flat as can be.So sorry.
Prop2gether on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a basic overview, this history is quite good in detailing the spy network set up by the government of the State of Mississippi in the 1950s and 1960s. It's a better read for 8th or 9th grade than upper levels, however, because the style is quite simple.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The link to the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission files should read http://mdah.state.ms.us/arrec/digital_archives/sovcom/.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love myself and civil rights, but mostly MYSELF /:-)