"Remarkable…an eye-opening book [on] the freedom struggle that changed the South, the nation, and the world." —Washington Post
The civil rights movement that looms 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 rich history of that early movement introduces us to a contentious mix of home-grown radicals, labor activists, newspaper editors, black workers, and intellectuals who employed every strategy imaginable to take Dixie down. 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.
"Painstakingly researched and vividly told, Defying Dixie is, by any standard, a formidable achievement. Gilmore forces us to rethink the history of the civil rights movement and the people, often unheralded at the margins, who made it." — Los Angeles Times
"Rich…powerful and profound." — New York Times
"A monumental work…for those desiring a sweeping yet detailed and informed account of the radical side of our early civil rights movement, Defying Dixie will prove extremely enlightening." — Charlotte Observer
"Emotionally poignant…[Gilmore] universalizes the impulses and actions that define the struggle for racial equality in America." — News and Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)
"Gilmore's fluid prose brings to life these passionate yet forgotten battles." — Memphis Commercial Appeal
"[Employing] a gift for vivid description, [Gilmore] introduces scores of dedicated, colorful and sometimes eccentric dreamers and agitators." — New York Times Book Review