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The Ghosts of Medgar Evers: A Tale of Race, Murder, Mississippi, and Hollywood
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Random House Inc
Publication date February 1, 1998
Pages 288
Binding Hardcover
Edition 1
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9780679459569
ISBN-10 0679459561
Dimensions 0.75 by 6.50 by 9.50 in.
Weight 1.30 lbs.
Availability§ Publisher Out of Stock Indefinitely
Original list price $23.00
§As reported by publisher
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Summaries and Reviews
Summary
The author looks back on his travels through his home state of Mississippi with the crew of the motion picture, Ghosts of Mississippi, exploring the film's relationship to his family's past and Mississippi's history of racism. 30,000 first printing. (view table of contents)
Amazon.com description: Product Description: "To me there is no more haunted, complex terrain in America than the countryside between Port Gibson, Mississippi, and the river. The land is full of ghosts. . . . Medgar Evers returned here from infantry combat in France after World War II to attend Alcorn State University. Here he met and courted his future wife, Myrlie. And it is because of him and of her that I am making this journey on this day to the Windsor Ruins a few miles north of the Alcorn campus. Just out of Port Gibson, a sign on the side of the road said: WINDSOR RUINS CLOSED TODAY. Hollywood had taken them over."

Thus, Willie Morris begins an intensely personal journey--both dramatic and emotional--involving racism, murder, history, and Hollywood.

For years Morris has portrayed American life through lyrical evocations of his own experience. Now he brings together the harsh realities of race and the magical illusions of Hollywood in an unusual book about the making of the movie Ghosts of Mississippi and its more complicated historical background: the 1963 assassination of the courageous civil rights activist Medgar Evers and the conviction thirty years later of his killer, Byron De La Beckwith, in one of the most striking cases in the annals of American jurisprudence.

The Ghosts of Medgar Evers is not only a dramatic account of the making of a major motion picture about one of the most heinous crimes of this century; it is also an examination of the murder itself and the people involved that explains why it took so long for justice to prevail.

Morris was on hand both for the trial and for the making of the movie. As the filming progressed, layer after layer of ironies, of personal and public deja vus, unfolded. With director Rob Reiner and producer Fred Zollo, Morris traveled the Mississippi back roads known to him since boyhood, surveying the story's real locales. He was present when the assassination was reenacted at the actual murder scene, and on the Hollywood soundstages when the trial was filmed--recreations that involved a number of participants in the original events, including three of Evers's children, who witnessed his death in 1963. His sons Darrell and Van Evers portrayed themselves as adults in the movie, and his daughter, Reena, played a juror in the 1994 trial. The filming, Morris reports, was often emotionally wrenching, particularly for the family members: When Alec Baldwin, as assistant district attorney Bobby DeLaughter, made his final summary to the jury, Reena wept openly.

The South today and the unadorned politics of race are juxtaposed and intermingled with the politics and mechanics of moviemaking.

The Ghosts of Medgar Evers is Willie Morris at his best.

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Hardcover
Book cover for 9780679459569
 
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1 edition from Random House Inc (February 1, 1998)
9780679459569 | details & prices | 288 pages | 6.50 × 9.50 × 0.75 in. | 1.30 lbs | List price $23.00
About: The author recalls his travels through his home state of Mississippi with the crew of the motion picture 'Ghosts of Mississippi'

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