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Mississippi: The Closed Society

By James W. Silver

272 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 2 appendices, index

978-1-61703-312-4 Paper $30.00s

978-1-61703-313-1 Ebook $30.00

Paper, $30.00

Ebook 978-1-61703-313-1, $30.00

An essential civil rights account of a witness to the Oxford riots and Mississippi's nadir

Mississippi: The Closed Society is a book about an insurrection in modern America, more particularly, about the social and historical background of that insurrection. It is written by a historian who, on September 30, 1962, witnessed the long night of riot that exploded on the campus of the University of Missis- sippi at Oxford. Students, and, later, adults with no connection with the university, attacked U.S. marshals sent to the campus to protect James H. Meredith, the first African American to attend Ole Miss.

In the first part of Mississippi: The Closed Society, Silver describes how the state's commitment to the doctrine of white supremacy led to a situation in which continued intransigence (and possibly violence) seemed the only course left in massive resistance. In these chapters the author speaks in the more formal measures of the historian. In the second part of the book, "Some Letters from the Closed Society," he reproduces (among other correspondence and memoranda) a series of his letters to friends and family--and critics--in the days and weeks after the insurrection. Here he reveals himself personally and forcefully. In both parts of the book Silver bares the mind and heart of a southerner haunted by cataclysmic events. This essential, seminal book, back in print, is prominent in the bibliographies of every civil rights history that followed its publication.

James W. Silver (1907-1988) was professor of history at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of Running Scared: Silver in Mississippi and Edmund Pendleton Gaines, Frontier General, and the editor, with John K. Bettersworth, of Mississippi in the Confederacy.

272 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 2 appendices, index