Hide Sora notification

Try Sora - the student reading app, by OverDrive

Apple App Store
Google Play Store
  Main Nav
An American Insurrection
Cover of An American Insurrection
An American Insurrection
The Battle of Oxford, Mississippi, 1962
Borrow Borrow
In 1961, a black veteran named James Meredith applied for admission to the University of Mississippi — and launched a legal revolt against white supremacy in the most segregated state in America....
In 1961, a black veteran named James Meredith applied for admission to the University of Mississippi — and launched a legal revolt against white supremacy in the most segregated state in America....
Available Formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1

Recommended for you

 

Description-

  • In 1961, a black veteran named James Meredith applied for admission to the University of Mississippi — and launched a legal revolt against white supremacy in the most segregated state in America. Meredith’s challenge ultimately triggered what Time magazine called “the gravest conflict between federal and state authority since the Civil War,” a crisis that on September 30, 1962, exploded into a chaotic battle between thousands of white civilians and a small corps of federal marshals. To crush the insurrection, President John F. Kennedy ordered a lightning invasion of Mississippi by over 20,000 U.S. combat infantry, paratroopers, military police, and National Guard troops.

    Based on years of intensive research, including over 500 interviews, JFK’s White House tapes, and 9,000 pages of FBI files, An American Insurrection is a minute-by-minute account of the crisis. William Doyle offers intimate portraits of the key players, from...
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • Chapter ONE CHAPTER ONE

    Whom Shall I Fear?

    We could have another Civil War on our hands.
    —President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Cabinet meeting, March 1956

    LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, SEPTEMBER 8, 1957, 8:50 a.m.

    A shy fifteen-year-old girl wearing bobby sox, ballet slippers, and a crisp black-and-white cotton dress stepped off a bus and walked toward Central High School, carrying a set of school books.

    Elizabeth Eckford and nine other black students hoped to enter the all-white school today as part of a desegregation plan ordered by a federal judge. Because Eckford's family did not have a phone, she had missed the instructions to join the other students this morning, so she was walking toward the school completely alone.

    Until today, Arkansas was making slow, peaceful progress toward integration. The state university was quietly desegregated in 1948, the state bus system had been integrated and black patrolmen were on the Little Rock police force. Several school districts were planning to accept black students this semester. In the wake of a lawsuit by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), the Little Rock school board had approved a plan to gradually desegregate Central High, and ten volunteer students were selected to go in.

    Through her sunglasses Eckford could see the school up ahead, and she was amazed at how big it was. She was so nervous, she hadn't slept at all the night before, so to pass the time she had read her Bible. She dwelled on the opening passage of the Twenty-seventh Psalm: "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"

    As she neared the school, the girl became vaguely aware of a crowd of white people swarming around her. Somewhere a voice called out, "Here she comes, get ready!" People started shouting insults. "Then my knees started to shake all of a sudden," Eckford later explained privately to Little Rock NAACP leader Daisy Bates, "and I wondered whether I could make it to the center entrance a block away. It was the longest block I ever walked in my whole life."

    Eckford could see uniformed soldiers ringing the entrance and letting white students into the school, and she assumed they were supposed to protect her. But when she approached the entrance, one soldier waved her away. When she tried to move past another soldier, he and his comrades lifted their bayonet-tipped M-1 rifles and surged toward her to block her path.

    The soldiers were Arkansas National Guardsmen, and their commander in chief was Democratic governor Orval Eugene Faubus, who had ordered the troops to block the black students at gunpoint. Faubus was a hound dog-faced populist who was born in a plank cabin in a remote Ozark forest near a place called Greasy Creek, and grew up trapping skunks to help his family scrape out a living. Until today, he was considered something of a moderate on racial issues. But Faubus was up for reelection, and sensing a rising white backlash to integration, he decided to become its champion.

    When she faced the solid wall of soldiers, Elizabeth Eckford wasn't sure what to do, so she retreated back across the street and into the white mob. Voices called out, "Lynch her! Lynch her!" and "Go home, you burr-head!" She scanned the mob for someone who might help her and spotted an old woman who seemed to have a kind face. The woman spat on her. A voice from the mob announced, "No nigger bitch is going to get in our school. Get out of here!"

    The chanting mob swelled toward five hundred. Behind Eckford, someone said, "Push...

About the Author-

  • William Doyle's previous book, Inside the Oval Office: The White House Tapes from FDR to Clinton (1999) was a New York Times Notable Book. In 1998 he won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best TV Documentary for the A&E special The Secret White House Tapes, which he co-wrote and co-produced. He lives in New York City. His email address is billdoyleusa@yahoo.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 30, 2001
    When James Meredith was about 12 years old, he had a "young boy's dream of attending the football powerhouse school," the University of Mississippi. But when he became the first black student to register at "Ole Miss" in 1962, a "Byzantine legal struggle" ensued, which Doyle chronicles along with the military maneuvers by U.S. Deputy Marshals and others sent to contain the revolt by radical segregationists and hundreds of student and civilian "volunteers." The episode—which Time
    magazine called the "greatest Constitutional crisis since the Civil War"—collapsed into complete mayhem and violence. Doyle (Inside the Oval Office), cowriter and coproducer of the A&E documentary The Secret White House Tapes, makes extensive use of the Kennedy tapes as well as interviews with over 500 eyewitnesses and participants. Unfortunately, his indiscriminate accumulation of detail (the governor's wife wore pearl-frame glasses; the average height of the 503rd Military Police Battalion is 5'10") mars the book. The sketches of Civil War battles (provided by way of analogy to the Mississippi crisis) and of assorted local, state and federal troop movements fail to cohere. Some of Doyle's facts—that World War II paratroopers served in "Normandy, Holland, Belgium, Sicily, Italy and North Africa"; references to JFK's "overlapping extramarital affairs and fleeting sexual experiences"; the price tag on Meredith's graduation suit ($85)—bring neither depth nor diversion to this unimaginative text. Agent, Mel Berger/William Morris.
    (Sept. 18)Forecast:Military buffs may relish the logistical detail, but the dust jacket comparison to
    Black Hawk Down is unwarranted, since this account is unlikely to break out of its niche.

  • Library Journal

    October 15, 2001
    Writer and documentary producer Doyle depicts the tumultuous events surrounding James Meredith's admission to the racially segregated University of Mississippi at Oxford in 1962. Descriptions of the dramatic and violent confrontation appear in virtually every recent book and film covering the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi. Doyle, however, shows Oxford in 1962 more as a battlefield than as one of many centers of social change. His is a story of heroes and villains, told as if he were describing a military invasion which, Doyle tells us, this was. To quell the rebellion against integration, President Kennedy not only sent federal marshals but also 30,000 combat soldiers. While Doyle's description is dramatic, it fails to provide an adequate context for what occurred before and after the focal events, unlike Nadine Cohodas's excellent The Band Played Dixie: Race and the Liberal Conscience at Old Miss (Free Pr., 1997). More disappointing is Doyle's inadequate closing, particularly given the energy with which he has told the narrative. He ends with a string of weak contradictions, providing very little to guide the reader through them. For large public libraries. Charles K. Piehl, Minnesota State Univ., Mankato

    Copyright 2001 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    September 1, 2001
    In compiling " In the Oval Office: The White House "Tapes from FDR to Clinton (1999), Doyle was struck by an incident he (and most Americans) had forgotten: the "little war" that erupted when African American James Meredith attempted to enroll at the University of Mississippi. Our forgetfulness stems from the horror of the events and the fact that they were succeeded in the headlines, that same month, by the Cuban missile crisis. But the battle of Oxford is a story worth retelling. Doyle draws on participant interviews and a voluminous archival record, including Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission files (unsealed in 1998) and 9,000 pages of FBI files accessed through a Freedom of Information Act request. Reconstructing what happened is surprisingly difficult because television and print journalists missed much of the action, and participants' memories disagree. Heroes identified by Doyle include Meredith, the soldiers Kennedy sent to Oxford (including blacks pulled from the front lines), the Mississippi National Guard (which Kennedy federalized), and white Mississippians who struggled to restore peace. A fascinating contribution to civil rights history.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2001, American Library Association.)

  • The Washington Post

    "One of the best narratives to chronicle the epic contest between African Americans bent on freedom and their most fanatic opponents."

  • San Jose Mercury News "A compelling account of how the last battle of the Civil War came to be fought.... Precise and evocative."
  • Houston Chronicle "Doyle has brought back into our historical consciousness a moment so shameful that it almost disappeared from memory."
  • News & Observer "A dramatic tale.... Provide[s] fascinating detail of the inner workings of the White House and the weighing of political consequences for any decision."
  • Wilson Quarterly "A balanced narrative filled with fresh and important details."
  • The Times-Picayune "Harrowing.... A riveting narrative.... [Doyle] describes the ebb and flow of the riot with more immediacy than any previous author has."
  • The Dallas Morning News "An absorbing, important book."
  • Post & Courier (Charleston, SC) "A story of heroes, villains and cowards.... Doyle provides a captivating view of the motivations, both personal and political, of all the main players in the drama."
  • Booklist "A fascinating contribution to civil rights history."
  • The Decatur Daily "Doyle has written a vivid portrait and riveting account....These insights render not only exciting, action-packed reading, but more importantly, a better understanding of what it means to be an American citizen."
  • The Sacramento Bee "A riveting, true-life thriller."

Title Information+

  • Publisher
    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:

Digital Rights Information+

  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You have reached the maximum number of titles you are allowed to recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 days.

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend this title for your digital library.

Close

Enhanced Details:

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Recommend this title for your digital library
An American Insurrection
An American Insurrection
The Battle of Oxford, Mississippi, 1962
William Doyle
Optional:
Close
Buy it now
and support our digital library!
An American Insurrection
An American Insurrection
The Battle of Oxford, Mississippi, 1962
William Doyle
A portion of your purchase goes to support your digital library.
Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel

Sora Turbo
Get the app!
Apple App Store
Google Play Store
Brought to you by Chicago Public Schools, and built with 💕 by OverDrive.
Close

Renewing this title won't extend your lending period. Instead, it will let you borrow the title again immediately after your first lending period expires.

Close

You can't renew this title because there are holds on it. However, you can join the holds list and be notified when it becomes available for you to borrow again.

Close