Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2008 - History - 642 pages
7 Reviews

A groundbreaking history of the Southern movement for social justice that gave birth to civil rights.

The civil rights movement that loomed over the 1950s and 1960s was the tip of an iceberg, the legal and political remnant of a broad, raucous, deeply American movement for social justice that flourished from the 1920s through the 1940s. This contentious mix of home-grown radicals, labor activists, newspaper editors, black workers, and intellectuals employed every strategy imaginable to take Dixie down, from a ludicrous attempt to organize black workers with a stage production of Pushkin -- in Russian -- to the courageous fight of striking workers against police and corporate violence in Gastonia in 1929. In a dramatic narrative Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore deftly shows how the movement unfolded against national and global developments, gaining focus and finally arriving at a narrow but effective legal strategy for securing desegregation and political rights. Little-known heroes abound in a book that will recast our understanding of the most important social movement in twentieth-century America.


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Review: Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights: 1919-1950

User Review  - Mark - Goodreads

Perfect supplement to more mainstream books about the later civil rights movement (mlk, parks, etc). Gilmore examines the long years of struggle from the first world war through the post war era ... Read full review

Review: Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights: 1919-1950

User Review  - John Rivera - Goodreads

This books is amazing. Most people hear civil rights and they start with names like Rosa Parks and MLK. Gilmore goes into the less celebrated but extremely important and interesting long civil rights ... Read full review


List of Illustrations
Sunset in Dixie
Jim Crow Meets Karl Marx

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About the author (2008)

Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore is the Peter V. and C. Vann Woodward Professor of History at Yale University. A North Carolina native, she writes extensively on Southern history. She and her family live in New Haven, Connecticut.

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