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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr Hardcover – November 1, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"An important and readable study of this seminal leader and the history of the civil rights movement." --Publishers Weekly

"Williams's work tops what have been too few head-on examinations of the substance and significance of this martyr's sacrifice, a man who demonstrated the truth he liked to repeat: 'You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.' General readers and scholars will benefit from reading this work..." --Library Journal, Nov 2011

“The first substantial scholarly biography of Medgar Evers…. Will be the standard reference for some time to come.” --Journal of Southern History

"Masterful… Williams's great achievement here is in recognizing that Evers was more than just a symbol of resistance. With Mississippi Martyr, he has written the seminal work on the life of Medgar Wiley Evers." --Brent Riffel in Arkansas Review, 2012

"Americans remember Medgar Evers--if they remember him at all--as the black leader gunned down the night President Kennedy made his famous civil rights speech. But Evers was much more than that, as Michael Williams makes clear in this marvelous biography. Long before the TV cameras and newsmen descended on the Magnolia State, Evers was risking his life on the back roads of Mississippi, organizing local people to take charge of their destiny. A hero and a martyr, Evers was also a complicated man torn between his activist impulses and the conservative mandates of his NAACP bosses in New York. Williams captures Medgar Evers in all his complexity in this well written, solidly researched, important book." --John Dittmer, author ofLocal People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi

From the Inside Flap

Civil rights activist Medgar Wiley Evers was well aware of the dangers he would face when he challenged the status quo in Mississippi in the 1950s and '60s, a place and time known for the brutal murders of Emmett Till, Reverend George Lee, Lamar Smith, and others. Nonetheless, Evers consistently investigated the rapes, murders, beatings, and lynchings of black Mississippians and reported the horrid incidents to a national audience, all the while organizing economic boycotts, sit-ins, and street protests in Jackson as the NAACP's first full-time Mississippi field secretary. He organized and participated in voting drives and nonviolent direct-action protests, joined lawsuits to overturn state-supported school segregation, and devoted himself to a career path that eventually cost him his life. This biography of an important civil rights leader draws on personal interviews from Myrlie Evers-Williams (Evers's widow), his two remaining siblings, friends, grade-school-to-college schoolmates, and fellow activists to elucidate Evers as an individual, leader, husband, brother, and father. Extensive archival work in the Evers Papers, the NAACP Papers, oral history collections, FBI files, Citizen Council collections, and the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission Papers, to list a few, provides a detailed account of Evers's NAACP work and a clearer understanding of the racist environment that ultimately led to his murder.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 453 pages
  • Publisher: University of Arkansas Press (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557289735
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557289735
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I haven't read any previous biographies of Medgar Evers, but I would think it would be hard to top this one by author Michael Vinson Williams. Mr. Evers dedicated his life for the betterment of others, and it takes a special person to make the necessary commitment in order to implement change. Mr. Evers spent nearly three years in the military service to our country and correctly believed that it wasn't asking too much for him and others of his race to be granted the same rights as others in our country. Racism was alive and well in America during the decades of the 1950s and 1960s.

Some people long for those nostalgic days of yore when neighbors cared about one another, and helped each other in building barns, etc. What they fail to realize is that those Ozzie and Harriet days they long for in past decades was a white man's world, and our African-American citizens have nothing nostalgic to look back on.

Mr. Evers worked himself into exhaustion in the cause for civil rights for those who had them denied. This also caused a great deal of stress in his family. He attempted to integrate the University of Mississippi, but administrators kept changing the rules to make him ineligible. He later worked behind the scenes in the successful admission of James Meredith. Mr. Evers considered Mississippi to be his home, and he wasn't about to give the racists the satisfaction of moving out.

I did find parts of the book to be somewhat more detailed to suit me, but this in no way detracted from my interest in seeing the book through. This is a book that contains a lot of violence that was experienced by the Freedom Riders, and the issues in Birmingham, Alabama, that involved the aptly named racist "Bull" Connor.

I believe Mr.
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Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. Very powerful, very well written. Medgar Evers deserves to be remembered for his work and not just his martyrdom, and Professor Williams's rich portrayal of Evers does him justice. I pretty much read this through in one session-it was that engrossing. From Evers's military service to his work with the NAACP, the Regional Counsel of Negro Leadership, and other such civil rights groups to his own willingness to stick his neck on the line by applying to the University of Mississippi's law school, there is much a biography of Evers needs to cover and Professor Williams doesn't give any period short shrift.

I highly recommend "Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr" and I hope to read more books from Professor Williams in the future.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael Williams' biography of Medgar Wiley Evers is a truly scholarly work that brings together numerous sources , both primary and secondary, that also gives us a comprehensive picture of who Evers was and what his importance is to the Mississippi civil rights movement.
As I read this work I was able to gain a sense of who Evers was as a person who refused to give in to the racists he lived among and how he was able to transfer his message to the African American community around him. We see who he was as a leader of young people he shepherded in the NAACP youth movement and a leader of all Mississippians, rich and poor, educated and lacking education, but always fighting the fight for what he saw as right and just.
Evers fought the battle for the right to vote as did many returning World War II and Korean War veterans did and he worked with all people, young and old, who were willing to devote themselves to that battle.
Michael Williams' book tells the story of a truly dedicated person, and if the reader wishes to dig deeper into the source materials, he provided us with comprehensive references.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Williams has written a powerful, touching book about this forgotten, true American hero of the Civil Rights Movement. The book is very well-written with an emotional voice that is all too often lacking in many works of historical non-fiction. Dr. Williams account of the night of Medgar's assassination is heartbreaking--and it should be. I cannot imagine my children having to be told by their mother that I had been killed--it is unthinkable that they would have heard and seen it happen. Thus is the story of Medgar Evers and his family. If ever you have the opportunity to listen to Dr. Williams speak, he is even better in person. If you are a bit rusty on your Civil Rights history, and probably far too many Americans are, read this book. It will bring you up to speed quite well.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have only one issue with the author. Otherwise an in depth look at the events that shaped the life of Medgar Evers. Very enlighten!
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