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

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  24 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)
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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
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
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.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Of all the books on this brutal story, Cagin and Dray's remains the most in-depth forensic analysis of that sad Midsummer Day of 1964. The aftermath of this sordid murder galvanized the nation and was one of the top events of the entire movement, along with the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, in 1963; the assassination of Medger Evers; and M.L. King's own assassination in 1968. Of interest is how the authors tied the events of a local lynching into broader trends. The Fr ...more
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, as ...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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Constance Dallas
Excellent overview of the Civil Rights era

Provides an excellent overview of the Civil Rights movement, particularly for those who appreciate a refresher and those new to this literature. Also provides in-depth portraits of the murdered civil rights workers and their families in the context of the murders. Bob Moses is prominently features throughout with much less emphasis on other leaders. Not a criticism since everything canoe covered, just an observation. Single criticism, I wish William Brad
Francis Telegadas
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredible history of Civil rights in Mississippi - focus is on the murder of the 3 voting rights workers - but the book covers a broader aspect. The book portrays ordinary people who did extraordinary things in the face of constant hate and violence and is an important thing to remember and honor.
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.
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
rated it really liked it
Dec 21, 2007
Timothy Rayba
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Jul 21, 2012
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Jul 13, 2016
Matthew Crookshank
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Mar 01, 2009
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