Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiii

Leaving Mississippi for Yale in 1995, i embarked on a Journey filled with the tragedies and the triumphs of life, and I have been blessed along the way with unforeseeable opportunities and with lifelong friends at all my stops. I stand on the shoulders of so many...

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Introduction

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pp. 3-12

As Mississippi’s attorney general from 1956 To 1969, Joe T. Patterson led the legal defense for Jim Crow in the state. He was inaugurated for his first term two months before the launching of the Sovereignty Commission, whose purpose—“to protect the sovereignty...

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1. Lessons in Practical Segregation

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pp. 13-27

Joe Patterson’s early life and career laid The foundations for his future in public life and for his political philosophy. Much like the reality that white southerners had resisted black advancement with every means possible, including outright violence, from...

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2. Challenges for the Jim Crow Hierarchy

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pp. 28-50

When the US Supreme Court handed down its Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, segregationists throughout the South announced a call to arms. In Mississippi, a Circuit Court judge, Tom P. Brady, branded the day Black Monday, denouncing...

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3. Fissures in the Segregationist Fold

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pp. 51-69

After the Brown decision in Mississippi, both White hard-line resistance and the black freedom struggle intensified. For adherents to Jim Crow at the time, especially leaders like Joe Patterson, the key question centered on the scope of the resistance...

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4. White Paranoia and Black Informants

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pp. 70-88

in 1958, the Reverend Clennon King, Who Was no activist, attempted to integrate the graduate school at Ole Miss. A bit of a wild card and self-professed disciple of Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver, King taught as a professor...

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5. Black Advancement and Federal Intervention

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pp. 89-109

After The Joe Albright affair in New York, The sovereignty Commission faced increased scrutiny of its public relations office. In particular, Joe Patterson, as the vice chairman of the Commission, did not want to see state dollars wasted on projects that...

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6. Braying Jackasses

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pp. 110-129

James Meredith's integration of Ole Miss in 1962 marked a major defeat for the staunchest defenders of the Jim Crow South. It also revealed a division within the ranks of the white leadership in Mississippi. The central question became how far members...

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7. Would-Be Ruthless Dictators

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pp. 130-153

Two months after the Meredith crisis, Walter lord interviewed Joe Patterson for a book about the integration of Ole Miss. Lord described Patterson as “old, a little lantern-jawed like Woodrow Wilson” and commented on his glasses and “thin grey hair.” The Meredith...

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8. Freedom Summer

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pp. 154-176

When Joe Patterson Won a Third Term in office in 1963, The civil rights movement was far from over, and long days remained for Mississippi’s attorney general. To come were the political challenges of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP); Freedom...

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9. Practical Racism

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pp. 177-192

When president Johnson proposed the voting rights act in the spring of 1965, most observers recognized that Congress was going to pass it without much problem. In turn, white southern leaders contemplated ways that its intent might be undermined...

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10. School Desegregation and Freedom of Choice

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pp. 193-212

by 1966, federal agents Were facing a savvier and more effective brand of political leadership in the state that neither backed down nor provided reason for intervention by the US government, and the white electorate could see that Joe Patterson had safeguarded...

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Conclusion

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pp. 213-225

in The face of a social revolution in the south, Joe Patterson did not cave in to the pressures of the modern civil rights movement as his die-hard white opponents claimed. Patterson did not fear the slippery-slope of tokenism the way the Citizens’ Council...

Notes

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pp. 226-274

Bibliography

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pp. 275-282

Index

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pp. 283-292

Image plates

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