- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice (Pivotal Moments in American History (Oxford))
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
"Surely the definitive study on the topic.... Arsenault skillfully brings to life these important historical figures, revealing their courage, fear, motivations, and conflicts--both internal and external."--Southern Historian
"A meticulous, all-encompassing study of the 1961 Freedom Riders and their subsequent efforts. It is a must-read for all students of America's freedom movement."--Lee E. Williams II, The Alabama Review
"Drawing on personal papers, F.B.I. files, and interviews with more than 200 participants in the rides, Arsenault brings vividly to life a defining moment in modern American history.... Rescues from obscurity the men and women who, at great personal risk, rode public buses into the South in order to challenge segregation in interstate travel.... Relates the story of the first Freedom Ride and the more than 60 that followed in dramatic, often moving detail."--Eric Foner, The New York Times Book Review
"Authoritative, compelling history.... This is a story that only benefits from Mr. Arsenault's deliberately slowed-down narration. Moment by moment, he recreates the sense of crisis, and the terrifying threat of violence that haunted the first Freedom Riders, and their waves of successors, every mile of the way through the Deep South. He skillfully puts into order a bewildering series of events and leads the reader, painstakingly, through the political complexities of the time. Perhaps his greatest achievement is to show, through a wealth of detail, just how contested every inch of terrain was, and how uncertain the outcome, as the Freedom Riders pressed forward, hundreds of them filling Southern jails."--William Grimes, The New York Times
"For those interested in understanding 20th-century America, this is an essential book.... In his dramatic and exhaustive account of the Freedom Riders, Arsenault makes a persuasive case that the idealism, faith, ingenuity and incredible courage of a relatively small group of Americans--both white and black--lit a fuse in 1961 that drew a reluctant federal government into the struggle--and also enlarged, energized and solidified (more or less) the hitherto fragmented civil rights movement.... Arsenault tells the story in wonderfully rich detail. He explains how young people, knowing the brutality and danger that others had faced, nevertheless came to replace them -- in wave after wave -- to ride dangerous roads, to face lawless lawmen, to withstand the fury of racist mobs, to endure the squalor and danger of Southern jails -- even the dreaded Parchman Farm in Mississippi."--Roger Wilkins, Washington Post Book World
"Compelling.... A complex, vivid and sympathetic history of a civil-rights milestone."--David Cohen, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Arsenault has written what will surely become the definitive account of these nonviolent protests.... Arsenault's fine narrative shows how the Freedom Rides were important journeys on the long road to racial justice."--Richmond Times-Dispatch
"This is a thrilling book. It brings to life a crucial episode in the movement that ended racial brutality in the American south, giving us both the bloody drama of the Freedom Rides and the legal and political maneuvering behind the scenes."--Anthony Lewis
"The Freedom Rides brought onto the national stage the civil rights struggle and those who would play leading roles in it.... Arsenault chronicles the Freedom Rides with a mosaic of what may appear daunting detail. But delving into Arsenault's account, it becomes clear that his record of strategy sessions, church vigils, bloody assaults, mass arrests, political maneuverings and personal anguish captures the mood and the turmoil, the excitement and the confusion of the movement and the time."--Michael Kenney, The Boston Globe
About the Author
Raymond Arsenault is the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History and co-director of the Florida Studies Program at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. A graduate of Princeton and Brandeis, he is the author of two prize-winning books and numerous articles on race, civil rights, and regional culture.
Top Customer Reviews
We shall overcome!
The author portrays well the myriad characters who organized these rides as well as their Southern antagonists. It still remains incomprehensible the level of hatred, racism, and intolerance that white southerners manifested to their fellow human beings. One must remember that these beatings by mobs were orchestrated by the White Southern power structure. The state and municipal (as well as the F.B.I.) gave whole-hearted backing to the Ku Klux Klan to pursue and assault the Freedom Riders. Raymond Arsenault depicts the ambivalence of the Kennedy administration wavering between the Southern state governments (to whom they owed their election victory) and the moral imperative of civil rights. Their reaction, as Arsenault suggests, was more political than moral.
Robert Kennedy was very reluctant to even send a few hundred federal marshals to protect the Freedom Riders who were besieged in a church by a mob tossing Molotov cocktails.
There are various heroes and groups portrayed - from Irene Morgan in 1944 who refused to leave the "white section" of a bus to Diane Nash who continued the Freedom Rides after their initial "failure" in Anniston and Birmingham.
It would seem that when the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) passed a law prohibiting discrimination on buses and their affiliated distributors (like restaurants, waiting rooms...Read more ›
This book gave me a thorough and complete picture of what was going on that summer, and especially gave me an undying gratitude for Diane Nash and the impact her unbending backbone had in pusing back the doubters and cowards that would have steped away from the danger and commitment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing book lots of detail on the Freedom Riders and the struggled they had to go through while riding the bus.Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
masterful account of this epic chapter in the endless and ongoing struggle for human dignity and equality (great guy, personal friend)Published 13 months ago by Nigel Watson
The book was old with shelf life but not in use, if that akes sense. I was like it was used at all pages still fresh and everything but you could tell it was stored for a very long... Read morePublished on July 20, 2014 by Athyah
Most Freedom Riders seem to feel that this is a definitive history of the Rides: this book passes the test of verity. Read morePublished on April 17, 2014 by Sheila Michaels
After hearing Oprah speak about the "The Butler" and the Freedom Riders I decided to learn more. Read morePublished on January 23, 2014 by Expat4ever
A high school friend of mine took me to the CORE office in Los Angeles in about 1961. I took every opportunity to visit the office and get ideas. Read morePublished on July 15, 2013 by Tobago Tim