Books by Mississippi Writers 1996-2010



Adam Nossiter


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By Adam Nossiter Da Capo Press (Paperback, $17.50, ISBN: 0306811626, 6/2002) First published: 1994 In this resonant and absorbing narrative, Nossiter uses the 1963 murder of NAACP staffer Medgar Evers and the recent re-prosecution of assassin Byron de la Beckwith as a prism through which to examine the significant evolution in hearts, minds and government in Mississippi. Nossiter, who formerly covered Mississippi for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution , tells his story mainly in deft profiles: Evers, the resolute field secretary shunned by many of the black bourgeoisie in Jackson; Beckwith, the racist supported by the white establishment, whose first two trials led to hung juries; prosecutor Bobby DeLaughter, who slowly developed a consciousness of the past. By the late 1980s, with new political leaders in place and a collective introspection in process, the state exhumed the case: information about jury tampering became known, formerly reluctant witnesses testified and Beckwith was convicted. The need for this thoughtful analysis—a more comprehensive look at the Evers case than Reed Massengill’s recent Beckwith biography, Portrait of a Racist—is shown by a jury pool, black and white, almost universally ignorant of Evers. —Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. (from Publishers Weekly)

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