9780684807478

Carry Me Home : Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780684807478

  • ISBN10:

    0684807475

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2001-03-15
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster

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Summary

A major work of history, investigative journalism that breaks new ground, and personal memoir, Carry Me Home is a dramatic account of the civil rights era's climactic battle in Birmingham, as the movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr., brought

Author Biography

Diane McWhorter, who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, is a long-time contributor to The New York Times and writes for the Op-Ed page of USA Today. Her articles about race, politics, and culture have appeared in many national publications, including The Washington Post. Carry Me Home is her first book. She lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Preface 15(4)
Introduction: September 15, 1963 19(12)
Part I: Precedents, 1938-1959
The City of Perpetual Promise: 1938
31(25)
Ring Out the Old: 1948
56(28)
Mass Movements: 1954-1956
84(27)
Rehearsal: 1956-1959
111(38)
Part II: Movement, 1960-1962
Breaking Out
149(30)
Action
179(21)
Freedom Ride
200(36)
Pivot
236(23)
The Full Cast
259(23)
Progress
282(21)
Part III: The Year of Birmingham, 1963
New Day Dawns
303(20)
Mad Dogs and Responsible Negroes
323(15)
Baptism
338(13)
Two Mayors and a King
351(14)
D-Day
365(14)
Miracle
379(17)
Mayday
396(15)
The Threshold
411(12)
Edge of Heaven
423(18)
No More Water
441(14)
The Schoolhouse Door
455(11)
The End of Segregation
466(11)
The Beginning of Integration
477(10)
All the Governor's Men
487(10)
A Case of Dynamite
497(12)
The Eve
509(10)
Denise, Carole, Cynthia, and Addie
519(12)
Aftershocks
531(13)
BAPBOMB
544(15)
General Lee's Namesakes
559(12)
Epilogue 571(17)
Abbreviations Used in Source Notes 588(3)
Notes 591(70)
Selected Bibliography 661(9)
Acknowledgments 670(5)
Index 675

Excerpts

from Chapter 8: Pivot HooverThe Freedom Rides were proving to be one of history's rare alchemical phenomena, altering the structural makeup of everything they touched. They had engineered what was perhaps Birmingham's major civic turning point since Joe Gelders revealed to the La Follette committee that U.S. Steel had terrorists on its payroll. In the continuing evolution of vigilantism in Birmingham, the Freedom Riders' welcome to the city marked the end of Bull Connor's long life as the intermediary between the Big Mules and the Klan, alienating him with finality from his old sponsors. As Sid Smyer's study group proved, the business elite was finally distancing itself from the militantly segregationist ideology it had long shared with the Klan.As Jim Farmer intended, the Freedom Rides had engaged the federal government in a symbiosis with the civil rights movement, but they had also made the government a shield for the Ku Klux Klan. The FBI's cover-up of Gary Thomas Rowe's actions would taint the Justice Department for decades, and that was only one of the bureau's insults to the civil rights movement. The most historic result of the Freedom Rides was perhaps the least well known: J. Edgar Hoover's enduring vendetta against Martin Luther King.That Hoover's career path had wound its way to Birmingham had a certain logic: His profession as a hunter of subversives had been launched by U.S. Steel. To squelch the union movement among its workers in 1919, the Corporation had helped foment the Red Scare that led Congress to create an anti-radical general intelligence division of the Justice Department. Hoover was appointed its first chief, a green twenty-four-year-old who grafted his prejudices as a product of Jim Crow Washington on to his anti-red mission; Hoover's first black target had been America's pioneer "mass" leader, the Jamaican immigrant Marcus Garvey, whom he had bagged in 1923 on mail fraud charges.Hoover's division was dissolved the following year, and he became director of the Bureau of Investigation, which acquired the prefix "Federal" during the New Deal. He never met a civil rights figure he didn't hold in suspicion -- Philip Randolph, W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, even Mary McLeod Bethune. Truman's Committee on Civil Rights he considered pink at best. And his agents had cooperated with Bull Connor in closing down the Southern Negro Youth Congress. In 1953, the bureau opened a Communist-infiltration investigation of CORE, the cause of Hoover's current dilemma.The Justice Department had been getting big doses of the FBI's aggressive passivity all week. Frustration over the Birmingham bureau's dodges had prompted the attorney general to buzz Hoover, technically his subordinate, and ask him how many agents "we" had in Birmingham. "We have enough, we have enough," the director said, and let loose a flood of words that neither answered the question nor didn't answer it. On Sunday night during the siege at Ralph Abernathy's church, the complaints about the FBI from Justice's "riot squadders" -- as the lawyers on these ad hoc assignments were henceforth known -- had grown so persistent that Robert Kennedy called his brother, who called Hoover at midnight. Hoover regarded any criticism of an FBI employee as "an attack on me personally," and he responded by scrounging around for a scapegoat. By morning he had found someone to take the blame for his staff's shortcomings in Alabama: It was the man responsible for the Sunday-night mess, Martin Luther King.Making a target of King would solve another problem for Hoover. Three months earlier, his new attorney general had declared war on the Mafia, an organization that Hoover insisted did not exist -- possibly, as students of the FBI would later claim, because its dons had photographic proof of the director's taste for makeup and women's clothing. Hoping to divert Kennedy from the Mafia, Hoover declared that "the Commun

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