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*Starred Review* With all the books on the civil rights movement for young people, it’s hard to believe there’s a topic that hasn’t yet been touched. But Bowers, through impeccable research and personal investigation, seems to have come up with something chillingly new. In 1956, the state of Mississippi conceived a Sovereignty Commission that began as a propaganda outlet and morphed into a spy network, with a goal of stopping integration and crushing the civil rights movement in the state. Written with clarity and understated power, the book methodically shows how white politicians organized the network and willing blacks accepted payment to infiltrate groups like the NAACP, or in some cases rail against civil rights organizations in churches and African American newspapers. After the election of Governor Ross Barnett, the commission’s tactics grew bolder, and violence became a part of the mix. Those with knowledge of the era will find this a vivid depiction of those turbulent days, but for them as well as students new to the history the extremes will be an eye-opener. The inset of photographs might have worked better spread throughout the text, but the story is so powerful it hardly needs visuals. Sources, an extensive bibliography, and copies of some of the commission documents (all were unsealed in 1998) are appended. Grades 7-10. --Ilene Cooper
Rick Bowers is a journalist, songwriter, and head of creative projects for the AARP. He lives in Washington D.C.
Wade Henderson is the executive director of the Leadership Commission on Civil Rights.
The teacher that purchased these books for her class is very satisfied with these books. They were all received in good condition.Published 4 months ago by Deb
Rick Bowers presents a fascinating account of the activities of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, an agency established by the state legislature in the late 1950s to... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Joseph Mcnellage
The book showed amazing facts about civil rights, and shows that people can kill to get their goal, I had fun reading it and you should too!Published 11 months ago by Noam
A remarkable story, very poorly told. Does this "author" know anything about narrative nonfiction? Create compelling characters! Put the reader into the action! Read morePublished 12 months ago by Compulsive reader
I chose this rating because the book contained information that was new to me and very interesting. Being an African American and 72 years of age, I can say I lived through this... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Jean Mitchell
I found this book fascinating to read. Some of the issued raised I had trouble believing to treachery people will do for money. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Major L. King