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

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9780670021703: Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy

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.

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About 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.

From AudioFile:

This powerful account of the Civil Rights Movement focuses on the volunteers that descended on Mississippi during the summer of 1964 for the purpose of registering black voters. David Drummond's narration, like Watson's story, starts strong and remains so throughout the entire production. Drummond provides a straight narration that proves to be sensitive and animated when the story requires. The combination of well-crafted reporting and Drummond's moving performance allows the listener to become a witness to a painful and tumultuous chapter in our nation's history. FREEDOM SUMMER will most certainly remain in the minds of listeners for some time. J.R.G. AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine

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