An American Journey
Vintage, Paperback, 9780679777410, 288pp.
Publication Date: January 28, 1997
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. But to many Americans, Mississippi is also home. And it is this paradox, with all its overtones of history and heartache, that Anthony Walton whose parents escaped Mississippi for the relative civility of the Midwest explores 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. 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.
"Affecting.... A compassionate meditation on this country and South, their past, present, and future."- Willie Morris The New York Times Book Review
"Essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the troubled soul of the South."- Caryl Phillips, author of Crossing the River
"Wonderfully illuminating and always interesting."- Richard Bernstein, The New York Times