Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “We Are Not Afraid: The Story of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney, and the Civil Rights Campaign for Mississippi” as Want to Read:
We Are Not Afraid: The Story of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney, and the Civil Rights Campaign for Mississippi
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

We Are Not Afraid: The Story of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney, and the Civil Rights Campaign for Mississippi

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  22 reviews
It was one of the most haunting crimes in American history--the abduction and killing of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner in rural Neshoba County, Mississippi, during the "Freedom Summer" of 1964. Seth Cagin and Philip Dray use extensive interviews, trial transcripts, and government files to weave a dramatic recounting of the civil r ...more
Paperback, Reissue, 500 pages
Published April 26th 2006 by Nation Books (first published April 25th 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about We Are Not Afraid, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about We Are Not Afraid

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  126 ratings  ·  22 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Eric_W
Dec 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing

Update: 6/9/2012

I happened to watch the movie Mississippi Burning again recently and was instantly returned to the events of 1964 and 1965, the year I graduated high school. I had forgotten how bad things were. Random lynchings, murder, intimidation, arson; they seemed to be regular occurrences, our own Kristallnacht, if you will, except it lasted much, much longer. There is no question prejudice still bedevils us, but it is remarkable how much has changed since 1964.

The FBI has declassified man
...more
Stacy
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that changed my life when I read it. The story of the three civil rights workers who were murdered by the KKK in tiny Neshoba County Mississippi in the early 60's. I was fascinated to read about the students who put their lives on the line so that African Americans have the basic right to VOTE. When I finished this amazing book, I wrote a very long letter to one of the civil rights workers family. I HIGHLY recommend this for anyone who has an interest in the South, the ...more
Jess
May 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was well written and contains an extensive bibliography. I didn't expect it to have such a sweeping history of the Civil Rights Movement of the early 1960s, but now I realize the story of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner would be impossible to tell without it. It was an excellent read, very well written but emotionally difficult. Everyone should read this book.
Heather G
Not Bad

This wasn't a bad book but was misleading. About 65 percent of the book is about the whole civil rights movement in America, not the murders. Plus there are a lot of names to remember, some not even relevant. The book didn't transfer well to digital, there was even a part where a gentleman who's backstory was being discussed didn't have a name because it had not transferred to the digital copy.
Everydayreader1
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have wanted to read this book for a long time because I have grown up with an interest in the civil rights movement and the political process. We Are Not Afraid: The Story of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney, and the Civil Rights Campaign for Mississippi by Philip Dray & Seth Cagin provides a brilliant perspective of a time in America I was too young to appreciate, then; though I do have some memories of the events of that time such as the march on Washington in August, 1963. I was perplexed ...more
Lance Carney
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have known about this part of history for quite a while, but had only seen it in documentaries. With my son moving to Mississippi, it reentered my consciousness and I decided to read this book. I wasn't too far into it before I realized this was a really important book. It not only tells the story of the three civil rights workers that were slain, but it does so by framing it with the events of the whole civil rights movement. In the Mississippi sections, I was thunderstruck by the racism on s ...more
Adam
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Adam by: Randy
Excellently written, incredibly jarring.

The disgusting viciousness of sheer hatred and racial violence in Mississippi is laid bare in this tell-all of the events surrounding the murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner during the Freedom Summer of 1964. We Are Not Afraid chronicles the primarily student driven movement that lead up to the Freedom Summer, while also focusing on the internal and long lasting violence that had been roiling in Mississippi for well over a century prior.

The brutality
...more
Mark Hillsman
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
IMO one of the best books on the civil rights movement, and I've read many. Most people have at least some knowledge of that portion of the movement guided by Martin Luther King and the SCLC; The Montgomery Bus Boycott, Birmingham, Selma and other high profile campaigns that received significant press coverage. This book focuses on the part of the movement led by students and other young people; the lunch counter sit-ins, campus unrest and specifically Freedom Summer and the horrendous violence ...more
Riley Cooper
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing book this is! At the same time, it can be very hard to read. Perhaps a better way to say that is the book contains scenes and stories that can be very hard to read because the cruelty and ignorance on display are incredible.
This book is much more than just a story about the murder of the three civil rights workers. There is a lot of the history of the civil rights movement in the South included, and it is essential to putting this particular crime into context.
I highly recommen
...more
jeff weston
Need to rearrange the title

The book really should change the title to the civil rights struggle for Mississippi and the story of Goodman,Schweitzer, Chaney. The reason is more than fifty percent of the book deals with lunch counter sit ins, bus boycotts, and other civil rights events not directly related to the case. The events surrounding the three men are dealt with but it seems to be secondary to rest of the civil rights history the authors relate. Good book, but a little misleading on the ti
...more
Jim Tracy
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Book publishing is like the lottery. Now, here's a great book with only one-hundred or so ratings. A book that obviously slipped under the radar. But if you're interested in the start of integration in the south in the mid 50s and early 1960s and liked the movie "Mississippi Burning," this is fascinating stuff, readable. Although it's more than the murders of the three civil rights workers. It's a history of time and place.
Newton Public Library Iowa
I read this in light of the 50th anniversary of the crime. In June, 1964, civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan. This book gives the background for the movement, the plot to murder and hide the three men, and the ensuing 1967 trial. Fascinating. --Leslie M.
Rick Blevins
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After seeing "Mississippi Burning" for the first time, wanted to know a little more about the story. Excellent book, good background information, still hard to believe this stuff was going on just a few years before I was born.
Laini
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There are no words for how much this book affected me.

Terrifying, sad, and powerful. Read it. This actually happened in our country barely 50 years ago. It is our responsibility to ensure that racists do not have their hateful way with our country.
Cate
Jun 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: college, research, history
Great recounting of the murders in Philadelphia, Mississippi set in the context of the larger Civil Rights Movement.
Cloris PatientC
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life.
jeanette
Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-reads
This book is akin to Simple Justice. the author chronicles the civil rights worker's motivations and struggles to enfranchise the African American in the south. Very moving text.
Sandi Miller
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Andy Goodman, Mickey Schwerner and James Chaney were three young men determined, in spite of the dangerous racist atmosphere in Mississippi, to help blacks register to vote in a time when the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists intimidated, harmed, and even killed blacks trying to register. I knew the story of the young mens' bogus arrest for speeding and how local law enforcement conspired with the KKK to ambush and kill them. I did not know the details of their deaths or how much their m ...more
Elizabeth
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Freedom Summer primer

Well written and wide ranging account of Freedom Summer as well as the murder of the 3 civil rights workers. Definitely a must read.
Christine
Not a book one reads for enjoyment. The history is well documented.
Brandon Whyte
rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2013
anna maria
rated it it was amazing
Jul 30, 2014
Sarah
rated it really liked it
Dec 21, 2007
Timothy Rayba
rated it it was amazing
Jul 21, 2012
Erin
rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2016
Matthew Crookshank
rated it it was amazing
Mar 01, 2009
Traci
rated it liked it
Sep 30, 2017
Chilaka
rated it really liked it
Dec 04, 2014
Larry Van Guilder
rated it it was amazing
Aug 06, 2016
Brad Herzog
rated it it was amazing
Mar 22, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism
  • Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six
  • Circumstantial Evidence: Death, Life, and Justice in a Southern Town
  • Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality
  • Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism
  • God's Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights
  • Kentucky Bloodbath: Ten Bizarre Tales of Murder from the Bluegrass State
  • Murder in the Adirondacks: An American Tragedy Revisited
  • The Thirty Years' War
  • Our Town: A Heartland Lynching, a Haunted Town, and the Hidden History of White America
  • Comrade Chikatilo: The Psychopathology of Russia's Notorious Serial Killer
  • Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice
  • The Eyes of Willie McGee: A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in the Jim Crow South
  • Leopold and Loeb: The Crime of the Century
  • The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family
  • Milwaukee Mayhem: Murder and Mystery in the Cream City's First Century
  • The Stranger She Loved: A Mormon Doctor, His Beautiful Wife, and an Almost Perfect Murder
  • Illustrated True Crime