A compelling account of the voting-rights struggles of the African-Americans of Mississippi, presenting comprehensive information (including ""Freedom Summer"") and ending somewhat abruptly in the mid-60's. Unlike most histories of civil-rights movements, this clearly brings forth the importance of African-Americans in leadership roles: resisting slavery, holding political office during Reconstruction, leading civil-rights projects of the 60's. Emphasizing the economic side of oppression, Walter carefully characterizes the state as ""not a monolith...gentleness and violence stand side by side."" She effectively portrays the electric atmosphere as young people were galvanized to stand up against centuries of social pressure to demand their rights. Unfortunately (like the movement?), the story peters out after the Freedom Democratic Party's stand at the 1964 Democratic Convention and the subsequent challenge to a white congressman; Walter says their victory consisted of proving the power of protest based on morals. A sobering message about the real cost of democracy. Source notes; bibliography; index not seen.