Synopses & Reviews
During the summer of 1964, America suddenly lost its innocence. By October, as a terrible by product of the Freedom Summer Project in Mississippi, there had been fifteen murders—including those of the three young civil-rights workers in Neshoba County. The Summer That Didn’t End, originally published in 1965, was the first book to tell the full story of the Mississippi Civil Rights Project. Len Holt was a young black lawyer who was involved in the training sessions of the volunteers and personally investigated the lynchings in Neshoba County. He set out to answer the most difficult question evoked by the killings: Why did the federal government offer no protection to the freedom workers? What, indeed, was the role of the federal government in the South? And why did the FBI refuse to aid the investigation until it was too late? But Holt has plenty to say on the positive side of the Project as well. He points to the freedom schools, the white community project, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, and how the focus on the state forced the situation in Mississippi to become a part of the national consciousness. Long out of print, this undiscovered classic is a powerful, distressing, yet hopeful book, written with the passion born of life-endangering participation, and thoroughly documented with eight appendices of invaluable source material.