- Series: The Fred W. Morrison Series in Southern Studies
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; New edition (January 25, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1469627051
- ISBN-13: 978-1469627052
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 129 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Free State of Jones, Movie Edition: Mississippi's Longest Civil War (The Fred W. Morrison Series in Southern Studies) Paperback – January 25, 2016
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Bynum is to be saluted not only for her profound scholarship but for her evenhanded accounts of matters that remain volatile and controversial. . . . [This] book should be praised as an original and cogent piece of scholarship on a devilishly complicated and demanding subject.--Washington Times
An important book that may cause historians who are skeptical about putting too much stress on an 'inner' Civil War to rethink their position.--American Historical Review
Powerful, revisionist, and timely, Bynum's book combines superb history with poignant analysis of historical memory and southern racial mores.--Choice
The Free State of Jones is clearly a story that needs to be told, and Bynum has done impressive research to bring it to a modern audience. She uses a wide range of social history sources to trace the long history not only of Newt Knight and his gang but also of their ancestors. She is interested in social structure, economic patterns, migration, religious revivals, family formation, and community relations--in short, a genealogy of the entire Jones County community before they became famous during and after the Civil War. This is an ambitious project that brings the Jones County community to life for scholars, students, and lay readers.--Altina L. Waller, author of Feud: Hatfields, McCoys, and Social Change in Appalachia, 1860-1900
Local studies have made us increasingly aware of the many different ways in which southerners experienced the Civil War. Few communities fought as much of the war on their own terms or generated as distorted yet profound a legacy afterward as did the men and women of this renegade county in Mississippi's Piney Woods. It's a fascinating story, and Victoria Bynum tells it remarkably well.--John C. Inscoe, coauthor of The Heart of Confederate Appalachia: Western North Carolina in the Civil War
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Top customer reviews
Racism in 1950's and 60's Jones county went beyond "Whites Only" signs over water fountains. A classmate's father was arrested for the firebombing and murder of Vernon Dahmer in his home. I never will forget my classmate's response. "I can't wait until I'm 18 so I can be the best Klansman I can be." That was his life goal. I didn't understand that level of fear, anger and hatred then and don't truly understand it now, but Ms. Bynum's book sheds a lot of light, history and context upon the human, political and cultural events leading up to that day on the bus.
The book does read like a dissertation, a series of dissertations actually, but that should not deter the reader who wants to understand this fascinating bit of history and culture. I am grateful to have found this book which has provided me with an insight and understanding of why things were the way the were in my hometown so many years ago. Thank you, Ms. Bynum.
Ms Bynum also presents an uncommon view of what happened in some areas both during and after the conflict. I gained an appreciation for the trials and tribulations of the period of reconstruction in the South. Something I never really understood in High School or college.
I discovered Vikki Bynum's book in 2003 and my education began about the "Rest of the Story". I am not a professional historian, but I am a seeker of the truth who is open to learning new ways of viewing old theories and past events. Vikki's book, The Free State of Jones, is the kind of book that pulls you in and engages you. I could not put it down! There is a palpable passion in the writing. I felt like I was deeply immersed in the conflict and turbulence and struggles of my ancestors. I began to understand the struggles of the yeoman farmers of Jones County and the meaning of "a rich man's war and a poor man's fight". I found myself actually kinda understanding Newt's viewpoint and that was a SHOCK!
The movie version of the book is a little different than the original book in that Vikki wrote an afterword. We are living in turbulent times and this book is as relevant today as it was when it was first written in 2001. Take the time to read this book, share it with family and friends and discuss it with others. The Free State Of Jones is packed full of well researched and historically accurate information written with a commitment to "educate the reader about the rest of the story".