Mississippi: The Long, Hot Summer

By William McCord
Introduction by Françoise N. Hamlin

232 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, introduction, index

9781496809353 Printed casebinding $85.00S

9781496809360 Paper $30.00S

Printed casebinding, $85.00

Paper, $30.00


In 1964, sociologist William McCord, long interested in movements for social change in the United States, began a study of Mississippi's Freedom Summer. Stanford University, where McCord taught, had been the site of recruiting efforts for student volunteers for the Freedom Summer project by such activists as Robert Moses and Allard Lowenstein. Described by his wife as "an old-fashioned liberal," McCord believed that he should both examine and participate in events in Mississippi. He accompanied student workers and black Mississippians to courthouses and Freedom Houses, and he attracted police attention as he studied the mechanisms of white supremacy and the black nonviolent campaign against racial segregation.

Published in 1965 by W. W. Norton, his book, Mississippi: The Long, Hot Summer, is one of the first examinations of the events of 1964 by a scholar. It provides a compelling, detailed account of Mississippi people and places, including the thousands of student workers who found in the state both opportunities and severe challenges. McCord's work sought to communicate to a broad audience the depth of repression in Mississippi. Here was evidence of the need for federal action to address what he recognized as both national and southern failures to secure civil rights for black Americans. His field work and activism in Mississippi offered a perspective that few other academics or other white Americans had shared.

Historian Françoise N. Hamlin provides a substantial introduction that sets McCord's work within the context of other narratives of Freedom Summer and explores McCord's broader career that combined distinguished scholarship with social activism.

WILLIAM McCORD (1930-1992), a sociologist with interests that ranged from American urban and social conditions to international economic development, was the author of seventeen books and scores of essays and articles. He was both an observer and participant in Mississippi during the events of Freedom Summer. FRANÇOISE N. HAMLIN, Providence, Rhode Island, is an associate professor in the departments of history and Africana studies at Brown University. She is the author of Crossroads at Clarksdale: The Black Freedom Struggle in the Mississippi Delta after World War II and coeditor of These Truly Are the Brave: An Anthology of African American Writings on War and Citizenship.

232 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, introduction, index