Description: Only recently unveiled, the secret files of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission have already received great coverage in the national media, including NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, Newsweek, and Time Magazine.
There is another story beneath the current headlines --the story about the commission itself--why it was formed, by whom, what it did, and under whose authority. That story is Dixie's Dirty Secret.
After the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954 mandated the desegregation of schools nationwide, the legislature in the state of Mississippi created the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, the basic mission of which was to prevent integration in that state. This engaging book is an investigative history of the Commission, other government agencies (including the FBI), and organized crime, all of whom conspired to break the law in dealing with civil rights and antiwar activists during the 1950s and 1960s. The author uncovers new information about the efforts of FBI agents to combat integration and exposes the longest running conspiracy in American history.
During a writing career spanning nearly thirty years, James Dickerson has worked for five Southern dailies and has published more than 1,400 articles in a variety of media. He is the author of six books, including Goin' Back to Memphis, an investigative look at how politics and organized crime has influenced Memphis music for the past century.
Comment(s): "I could not put the book down. After living in Mississippi for the last fifteen years, for the first time, through reading Dixie's Dirty Secret, I now clearly understand both the history and the modern day feelings of Mississippians." -- Frank E. Melton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, TV-3, Inc.
Review(s): "There's definitely 'new news' in this multistrand exploration of the battle to integrate the South--and the continuing effects of that battle. ... [Dickerson] offers plenty of new and useful information about the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, whose files were finally opened this year." -- Booklist
"Dickerson does a good job of detailing the commission's ugly excesses." -- Publishers Weekly
"[An] expansive, immensely provocative work. ... A blockbuster indictment not only of southern intransigence and racism, but of the corrupt way power works in America." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Dickerson, who is something of an expert on the area, looks at the Delta's dark underside in this highly readable and admirably researched investigative report." -- The Midwest Book Review
"A scathing indictment of politicians in league with power brokers on both sides of the law. ... An interesting book. ... Dickerson provides a worthwhile ... look at a period of wrenching change in the nation's history." -- Lincoln Journal Star
"Compelling. ... The simultaneous focus on overt and covert actions gives the book its power, exposing the seamy underside of massive resistance and further delegitimating the stance of the era's southern political leaders. ... General readers and undergraduates." -- Choice
"The author has obviously put in a lot of work researching and writing on these topics. The writing is lively. His remarks are often insightful, occasionally intriguing, and reflect his wide and deep experience in the world of Memphis, Mississippi, and Louisiana culture, society, crime, and politics." -- The Journal of Southern History