Freedom Summer

Paperback | April 1, 1995

byDoug McAdam

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In June 1964, over one thousand volunteers--most of them white, northern college students--arrived in Mississippi to register black voters and staff "freedom schools" as part of the Freedom Summer campaign organized by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. Within ten days, threeof them were murdered; by the summer's end, another had died and hundreds more had endured bombings, beatings, and arrests. Less dramatically, but no less significantly, the volunteers encountered a "liberating" exposure to new lifestyles, new political ideologies, and a radically new perspectiveon America and on themselves. Films such as Mississippi Burning have attempted to document this episode in the civil rights era, but Doug McAdam offers the first book to gauge the impact of Freedom Summer on the project volunteers and the period we now call "the turbulent sixties." Tracking down hundreds of the originalproject applicants, and combining hard data with a wealth of personal recollections, he has produced a riveting portrait of the people, the events, and the era. McAdam discovered that during Freedom Summer, the volunteers' encounters with white supremacist violence and their experiences withinterracial relationships, communal living, and a more open sexuality led many of them to "climb aboard a political and cultural wave just as it was forming and beginning to wash forward." Many became activists in subsequent protests--including the antiwar movement and the feminist movement--and,most significantly, many of them have remained activists to this day. Brimming with the reminiscences of the Freedom Summer veterans, the book captures the varied motives that compelled them to make the journey south, the terror that came with the explosions of violence, the camaraderie and conflicts they experienced among themselves, and their assorted feelingsabout the lessons they learned.

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In June 1964, over one thousand volunteers--most of them white, northern college students--arrived in Mississippi to register black voters and staff "freedom schools" as part of the Freedom Summer campaign organized by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. Within ten days, threeof them were murdered; by the summer's end,...

Doug McAdam is Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona and author of Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930-1970.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 5.39 × 7.99 × 0.75 inPublished:April 1, 1995Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195064720

ISBN - 13:9780195064728

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"In Freedom Summer, Doug McAdam illustrates the radical education experienced by the volunteers and the tremendous impact that Freedom Summer had, and still has, on our lives. McAdam interviewed 348 of the 566 volunteers, often traveling around the country to meet with them personally, and hecompiled fascinating data on what inspired the volunteers to participate in the project, what it was like once they arrived and how their participation influenced the direction of their lives."--San Francisco Chronicle