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Freedom's Main Line: The Journey of Reconciliation and the Freedom Rides

by Derek Charles Catsam

Availablepaperback$24.95s 978-0-8131-3377-5
Availablecloth$60.00x 978-0-8131-2511-4
Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century
436 pages  Pubdate: 06/24/2011  6 x 9 x 1.25  

In 1961, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and other civil rights groups began organizing the Freedom Rides. The Freedom Riders were volunteers of different backgrounds who travelled on buses throughout the American South to help enforce the Supreme Court ruling that had declared racial segregation on public transportation illegal. In Freedom’s Main Line: The Journey of Reconciliation and the Freedom Rides, Derek Catsam shows how the Freedom Rides were crucial in raising awareness among decision makers and in bringing the realities of racial segregation into American homes through national media coverage.

Derek Charles Catsam is associate professor of history at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. His previous publications include numerous reviews and articles. He lives in Odessa, TX.

"Catsam is a master storyteller, and his prose is engaging and captivating. His narrative is reveting, and is written with a dramatic flair befitting the steely determination and the unshakeable convictions of these dedicated activists, none of whose lives would ever be the same after their history-making journey into the heart of Dixie. Meticulously researched and gracefully written, this book is a remarkable achievement and is destined to become an important study of the black freedom struggle." —Robert A. Pratt, author of We Shall Not be Moved: The Desegregaton of the University of Georgia -- Robert A. Pratt, author of We Shall Not Be Moved: The Desegregation of the Unive

"[Catsam] is presenting an ever-evolving American history, a concept underscored by the presentation of the book and reinforced by our recent election, which has presented us with a moment to look back and forward to the next stage of Freedom’s Main Line.” --Chattanooga Free Press

Freedom’s Main Line helps us understand the racial tensions, hostilities, bigotry and discrimination rampant in the 1950s and 60s.” --Christian News

"Freedom’s Main Line is based on research in a wide variety of archives and newspapers, and it reflects a solid grasp of the historiography of the era. . . . A well-written account of an important aspect of the struggle for racial equality in the United States." --Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

"Catsam has given us a history of pivotal political events that honors continuity and change, individual stories and political structures, and leadership and mass mobilization." --North Carolina Historical Review

"A vivid, readable narrative. . . . Catsam gives a clear sense of what the movement was up against, while insisting that the cost of pursuing justice need not be so high." --Journal of American History

"Besides being impeccably researched and offering its readers a gripping tale, this multilayered interpretation lifts Catsam’s work a cut above most civil rights narratives, all without sacrificing the rich stories of individual participants."--American Historical Review

"Freedom’s Main Line is a compelling, spellbinding examination of a pivotal event in civil rights history, and it should appeal to both a lay and professional audience…. By layering the flesh of human interest over well-formed scholarly bones, Catsam has created a highly readable and dramatic account of a major turning point not just in the Civil Rights Movement, but in recent U.S. history."--Journal of African-American History

"Offers new interpretation of the freedom rides of 1961, arguing that the campaign was central to the transition that occurred in the civil rights movement during the 1960s. . . . A welcome addition." --Journal of Southern History

"An outstanding narrative of a transformative movement."--American Studies

"Catsam's highly readable account of both the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation and the 1961 Freedom Rides illustrates the link between both events, but also encourages us to reconsider the timeline and significance of interstate transportation integration in the long Civil Rights Movement."--Southern Historian