Freedom Summer

Doug McAdam, Author
Doug McAdam, Author Oxford University Press, USA $30 (368p) ISBN 978-0-19-504367-9
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
In the 1964 ``Freedom Summer'' campaign led by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), more than 1000 volunteersmostly white, privileged, Northern college studentswent to Mississippi to launch voter-registration drives, impromptu schools and community outreach. Within 10 days, three participants had been murdered by local segregationists; dozens more would endure beatings and arrests. Drawing on questionnaires and interviews with hundreds of the volunteers, McAdam, associate professor of sociology at the University of Arizona, dispels numerous myths surrounding Freedom Summer and the '60s in general. He shows, for example, that most of the participants were liberal reformers (not radicals) who, far from rebelling against their parents, acted upon idealistic values learned at home. Furthermore, many volunteers have since built their lives upon a progressive political base, joining the women's, antinuclear, environmental and other movements. McAdam weaves first-person testimony, sociological analysis and history into a moving, important probe. (September)
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