Freedom Riders

1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice

Arsenault, Raymond

Book - 2011
Freedom Riders
Oxford University Press
The saga of the Freedom Rides is an improbable, almost unbelievable story. In the course of six months in 1961, four hundred and fifty Freedom Riders expanded the realm of the possible in American politics, redefining the limits of dissent and setting the stage for the civil rights movement. In this new version of his encyclopedic Freedom Riders, Raymond Arsenault offers a significantly condensed and tautly written account. With characters and plot lines rivaling those of the most imaginative fiction, this is a tale of heroic sacrifice and unexpected triumph. Arsenault recounts how a group of volunteers--blacks and whites--came together to travel from Washington DC through the Deep South, defying Jim Crow laws in buses and terminals and putting their lives on the line for racial justice. News photographers captured the violence in Montgomery, shocking the nation and sparking a crisis in the Kennedy administration. Here are the key players--their fears and courage, their determination and second thoughts, and the agonizing choices they faced as they took on Jim Crow--and triumphed.

Winner of the Owsley Prize

Publication is timed to coincide with the airing of the American Experience miniseries documenting the Freedom Rides

"Arsenault brings vividly to life a defining moment in modern American history."
--Eric Foner, The New York Times Book Review

"Authoritative, compelling history."
--William Grimes, The New York Times

"For those interested in understanding 20th-century America, this is an essential book."
--Roger Wilkins, Washington Post Book World

"Arsenault's record of strategy sessions, church vigils, bloody assaults, mass arrests, political maneuverings and personal anguish captures the mood and the turmoil, the excitement and the confusion of the movement and the time."
--Michael Kenney, The Boston Globe

Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2011
Edition: Abridged ed
ISBN: 9780199754311
Branch Call Number: 323.092 A
Characteristics: xiv, 306 p. : maps ; 24 cm.


From Library Staff

The story of a group of -- mostly young -- volunteers who rode from Washington D.C. into the segregated South. (There is also a DVD related to this book).

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

No similar edition of this title was found at NYPL.

Try searching for Freedom Riders to see if NYPL owns related versions of the work.

Suggest for Purchase


Buy It Now

Support your library, keep it forever!

View Purchase Options Learn more about this program

Your Cart

Hello! We noticed you have the following items in your cart right now:

If you'd still like to purchase the items you have in your cart, you can do that now.

You'll be able to purchase your eBook after you have checked out your current cart.

Freedom Riders
Arsenault, Raymond
Freedom Riders

To continue with your eBook purchase immediately, you can clear your cart by clicking below.

All items will be removed from your cart.

I'd like to keep browsing! I'll decide later.

Explore Further

Browse the Shelf

Subject Headings