Â To most Americans, Mississippi is not a state but a scar, the place where segregation took its ugliest form and struck most savagely at its challengers.Â But to many Americans, Mississippi is also home.Â And it is this paradox, with all its overtones of history and heartache, that Anthony Waltonâwhose parents escaped Mississippi for the relative civility of the Midwestâexplores in this resonant and disquieting work of travel writing, history, and memoir.
Traveling from the Natchez Trace to the yawning cotton fields of the Delta and from plantation houses to air-conditioned shopping malls, Walton challenged us to see Mississippi's memories of comfort alongside its legacies of slavery and the Klan.Â He weaves in the stories of his family, as well as those of patricians and sharecroppers, redneck demagogues and martyred civil rights workers, novelists and bluesmen, black and white. Mississippi is a national saga in brilliant microcosm, splendidly written and profoundly moving.
About: Raised in suburban Illinois in the 60s, a gifted student and athlete, Anthony Walton went on to Notre Dame and Brown into a career in journalism -- all the while convinced that racism, insofar as it still existed, was on the way out.
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