SPIES OF MISSISSIPPI by Rick Bowers

SPIES OF MISSISSIPPI

The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement
Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

The year 1956 saw the creation of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, a special agency charged with preserving the right of the state to govern itself without interference from the federal government or private pressure groups. In this era, “sovereignty” was code for segregation, and the commission was granted extraordinary powers to investigate private citizens and organizations, make arrests, maintain secret files and force witnesses to testify. Using primary-source materials, including 134,000 pages of documents from the commission’s once-secret files, Bowers tells the chilling story of how the Mississippi government systematically created a propaganda machine and statewide spy network and collaborated with such groups as the Klan and the White Citizens’ Council to undermine the efforts of civil-rights organizations. He effectively illustrates the desperate and shockingly illegal lengths the commission went to but is less successful in linking it to the assassination of Medgar Evers and the murders of three Freedom Summer volunteers. Compelling and enlightening nonetheless. (index & credits, not seen) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4263-0595-5
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: National Geographic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2009




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