As part of the Maryville Reads program and the Maryville Talks Books author series, Bruce Watson, author of Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy, will discuss his book on campus at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, in the Auditorium.
The event is free and open to the public.
A New York Times book review said Watson’s book “derives its power — at its best, it is the literary equivalent of a hot light bulb dangling from a low ceiling — from its narrow focus.” The book is an account of a critical moment in the American civil rights movement, when 700 college students descended upon Mississippi to register black voters and educate black children. On the night of their arrival, the worst fears of a race-torn nation were realized when three young men disappeared, thought to have been murdered by the Ku Klux Klan. Freedom Summer takes readers into the heart of these remarkable months.
As a frequent contributor to Smithsonian, Watson wrote more than 40 feature articles on subjects ranging from eels to Ferraris to the history of Coney Island. His articles have also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Yankee, and The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003. Bread and Roses was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of “25 Books to Remember in 2005.” Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, The Murders, and The Judgment of Mankind was a Book of the Month Club Selection and was nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for an Edgar Award.
The Maryville Reads program engages the Maryville community in dialogue about themes presented in the selected book through curriculum and events held during the academic year.
“One of the pillars of the University’s strategic plan is Diversity and Inclusiveness,” said Genie McKee, PhD, dean of the University Library. “Because of Ferguson and many other events, the Maryville Reads committee wanted to choose a book that raises social justice and diversity issues. Bruce Watson’s ‘Freedom Summer’ addresses those topics, and is also highly relevant during this presidential election year.”
Maryville Reads is a collaborative effort between the University Library, the Office of Multicultural Programs and the Division of Student Success.
Maryville Talks Books
Maryville Talks Books features lectures by noted authors and is held in partnership with Left Bank Books. Events include book sales and signing.