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Emmett Till and the Mississippi Press

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1934110157
ISBN-10: 1934110159
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Emmett Till and the Mississippi Press is a brilliant, riveting book. Davis Houck and Matthew Grindy cast new light on the mythic tale of a terrible murder that shook America and still reverberates in our consciousness today. Beyond their powerful story, the authors provocatively reveal how reporters, editors, historians, and politicians constantly reshape public memory of the critical events of our history. Every academic or citizen interested in having a better understanding of our civil rights history and how we must come to terms with historical truth should read this important book. --Nick Kotz, author of Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Laws that Changed America

The murder in Mississippi of a wolf-whistling Chicago teenager, at the hands of white supremacists, continues to resonate. Emmett Till and the Mississippi Press shows why. Thanks to its prodigious research and tart observations, this book amplifies our knowledge of a vicious crime and an unjust acquittal, and also illuminates the political and journalistic atmosphere that proved so rancid that it could not be sustained. --Stephen J. Whitfield, author of A Death in the Delta: The Story of Emmett Till

From the Publisher

This analysis of the media's reaction to the lynching of a young black man

---Creates one of the few books on the Till case to focus on newspaper accounts of the murder and its aftermath

---Offers a new reading of the defense's initial strategy of declaring "justifiable homicide"

---Examines carefully many documents, columns, reports, and other papers that have not been previously studied in-depth

---Gives a fresh perspective on a murder that helped spur the Civil Rights movement

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (January 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934110159
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934110157
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #997,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Timothy B. Tyson on October 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Emmett Till murder case is perhaps the most notorious and revealing narrative in the long American saga of "race," and it occurred only a few months before Rosa Parks was arrested on a bus in Montgomery, setting off the bus boycott that let the world know that the African American freedom struggle on the rise. This book is not a history of that event. Instead, it is a scholarly examination of the response of the press in Mississippi to the Till case. As such, it serves up a wide array of fascinating primary sources. For a student writing a paper on the Till case or a historian writing a book, this is a gold mine. The authors are to be congratulated for their patient and thorough contribution to scholarship.

And by the way, the review that calls this book apologetic for the Till murder is simply nonsense. This book really makes no argument about the Till murder. It makes some astute observations about the press coverage in Mississippi, which ranges from wildly white supremacist to defensive "moderate" observations to the complexities of an African American press that is not entirely safe and independent, yet has plenty to say. The authors, careful and thoughtful scholars, are no more tolerant of Till's murder than any sane, decent person in the country. There is a quiet moral strength in these pages, but the point of the effort is to advance a deeper historical understanding of the nation's foremost story of racial insanity, Mississippi injustice, and African American resolve to end it.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the most important books on the Till case. It's focus on the Mississippi media paints a vivid picture of the reaction to racial issues and outsiders who dared poke their noses into the state's business. It aided me tremendously in my own research into the case. As you scan the bibliography, notice how thorough the authors scoured Mississippi newspapers that covered the case, from the statewide dailies to the small town weeklies. Even letters to the editor get attention, as they should, in understanding fully the attitudes of locals. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very impressed with the book and the authors who researched and wrote it.
Great detail and timelines to follow as well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book would be a joke, a farce, if did not deal with such a serious subject. The authors have clipped some newspaper articles and come to the conclusion that the supporters of Strider, Kimball, Bryant, the Milams and other murderous bigots are maligned innocents persued by an "outside" press and the NAACP that was hellbent on misrepresenting the really nice, peaceful, Christian, Jim Crow Mississippi.

These guys are apologists for a very ugly murder and the cruel and unacceptable court decision in Sumner, MS, 1955. The authors contend Till's kidnapping, beating, murder and mutilation was caused by the unanimous decision of the US Supreme Court to end school discrimination. And they contend the people of Mississippi had the right and duty to protect their racist society against this national consensus and any incursion by anyone who believed "all men are created equal."

Shame on these authors for this unscholarly and pathetic reconstruction.
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