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Fighting the Devil in Dixie: How Civil Rights Activists Took on the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama
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Fighting the Devil in Dixie: How Civil Rights Activists Took on the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  27 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Shortly after the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Ku Klux Klan--determined to keep segregation as the way of life inAlabama--staged a resurgence, and the strong-armed leadership of governor George C. Wallace, who defiedthe new civil rights laws, empowered the Klan's most violent members. As Wallace’s power grew, however, blacks began fighting back in the courtho ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Chicago Review Press
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At least once a week I join the writer of this book for a roundtable at the only bar that matters in Montgomery, Alabama, El Rey Burrito Lounge. Two-dozen books into a 40+ year career, Wayne remains an inspiration to us. This latest book of his is a fascinating history of players in the Civil Rights movement and its aftermath who don't often get their due. From the 1957 murder of Willie Edwards through the men and women whose investigative reporting kept the abuses of segregation in the public e ...more
Patrick Sprunger
Not quite what I was expecting. While the author contains his study to the state of Alabama, he doesn't adhere very closely to his thesis of pitting civil rights activists against the Ku Klux Klan. I'm conflicted over my feelings about Fighting the Devil in Dixie - partly because I can't tell exactly what it is.

It isn't a typical history of the civil rights movement, because key events are omitted (Little Rock, AR; Raleigh, NC; Oxford, MS; Albany, GA) - but that may be due to the fact the autho
Margaret Sankey
Rather than the big moments, this work by an Alabama journalist follows the many small, principled acts of attrition by ordinary people against the Klan--local bankers, barbers, morticians, newspaper editors, bail bondsmen, city clerks and creative strategies like getting property as damages in civil suits and, to my great delight, Morris Dees raising the original monies for the SPLC by marketing "Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers" through unwitting white Future Farmers of America fund ...more
Good book. At times it goes into more detail than I can process; I end up skimming paragraphs until the writing comes back to the main narrative.

The subject matter makes me so angry, though, that I am unable to finish it.
Miles DeMott
Great compilation of names and stories from the Civil Rights struggle.
Katy marked it as to-read
Aug 30, 2014
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(Charles Morgan, Jr., Southern Director of the ACLU in 1966, upon seeing conditions in the Jefferson County jail):

...I knew that [Southern whites] would have annihilated blacks had they been more literate and less useful. In Hitler's Germany armbands identified Jews. Those with black skin could have been annihilated more easily. But they were the labor pool with which to break strikes. They served as the pickers of cotton, the diggers of ditches. They emptied bedpans and cleaned the outhouses of our lives. Uneducated, property-less, disenfranchised, and excluded from justice, except as defendants, they were no threat to whites. While they remained useful and didn't get 'out of line,' their lives were assured, for no matter how worthless lower-class white folks said blacks were, the rich, well born, and able upper-class whites knew that they and black folks were really the only people indispensably required by Our Southern Way of Life. (188)”
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