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Risking Everything: A Freedom Summer Reader

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Risking Everything: A Freedom Summer Reader documents the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project, when SNCC and CORE workers and volunteers arrived in the Deep South to register voters and teach non-violence, and more than 60,000 black Mississippians risked everything to overturn a system that had brutally exploited them. In the 44 original documents in this anthology, you’ll read their letters, eavesdrop on their meetings, shudder at their suffering, and admire their courage. You’ll witness the final hours of three workers murdered on the project’s first day, hear testimony by black residents who bravely stood up to police torture and Klan firebombs, and watch the liberal establishment betray them.  These vivid primary sources, collected by the Wisconsin Historical Society, provide both first-hand accounts of this astounding grassroots struggle as well as a broader understanding of the Civil Rights movement.
The selected documents are among the 25,000 pages about the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project in the archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society. The manuscripts were collected in the mid-1960s, at a time when few other institutions were interested in saving the stories of common people in McComb or Ruleville, Mississippi. Most have never been published before.

256 pages, Paperback

First published May 23, 2014

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Michael Edmonds

17 books2 followers

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer.
65 reviews5 followers
July 21, 2014
This book was amazing. As soon as it arrived I opened it up to thumb through, thinking I would just take a browse but not start it until it came up later on my list... but I was hooked as soon as I began to read. Not being American, I have scant familiarity with the civil rights history, but after living in the states for a few years recently I've become very interesting in understanding that time period. This book documented an important period in the civil rights movement, the Freedom Summer of 1964. There is nothing like reading primary sources to fully understand an event, from a variety of different lenses and angles, and the documents collected here are no exception - they convey the feelings, the ideologies and the extreme racism with raw emotion, something we have a hard time really grasping from the distance of the next century. These documents are so important to preserve and disseminate new generations of citizens, and the Wisconsin Historical Society has done a wonderful job with this publication. Highly recommended.

I received this book as part of the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program - Thanks!
Profile Image for Brandi.
686 reviews30 followers
January 1, 2015
"Risking Everything: A Freedom Summer Reader" by Michael Edmonds is a wonderful reference book for those students studying the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. This book includes a collection of documents pertaining to the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project, where volunteers went to Mississippi to register voters and teach those people who wanted to change things means of non-violent protest.
I enjoyed being able to read about events that occurred in my parents' youth so that I could better understand the world they were raised in. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in history. The book was cohesive and well organized. Mr. Edmonds did a great job editing this book.
This book was won from the Goodreads.com website.
Profile Image for BowbytheBay.
336 reviews
June 17, 2018
Devastating book. Even though it isn’t very long, it took me awhile to finish it because I couldn’t read more than a little bit at a time. I was stunned everyday by the incredible courage of the people involved in the Freedom Summer: the organizers from the North and, even more so, the African-Americans in the South. The title of the book is quite true; these individuals were truly risking everything. The fact that these inequities between whites and blacks still exist today is not surprising when you see how bad it used to be. We’ve made some progress, but the work is far from done.
1 review1 follower
April 17, 2014
The inspiring story of students and activists who traveled to Mississippi and risked their lives to challenge segregation and help secure voting rights as part of the Freedom Summer project in 1964. Original documents provide first-hand accounts and give the reader an appreciation for the courage of those who participated in Freedom Summer along with a better understanding of the civil rights movement.
432 reviews5 followers
February 26, 2015
History books don't tell all of the story. Personal narratives, like those in this book, are eye openers. What occurred in the past is tragic and stupid. Hopefully we can learn from these mistakes and others like them (Holocaust, Aparthaid), and treat all humans with the dignity and respect that all life deserves.
Profile Image for Katrina.
740 reviews11 followers
January 6, 2015
31 pages of a 223 page book are written by Edmonds. There is very little in the way of ruminations on the sources more more explanations of reliance. Is this enough for the committee to consider? Everything else is primary sources.
April 18, 2014
What an important time in history to remember and be remembered. Michael Edmonds and the Wisconsin Historical Society has done a phenomenal job chronicling the Freedom Summer of 1964.
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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