We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

E-book purchase
Choose a subscription

Downloaded copy on your device does not expire. Includes 4 years of Bookshelf Online.


Where applicable, tax will be added to the above price prior to payment.

E-book purchasing help


The Battle of Ole Miss

Civil Rights v. States' Rights

Frank Lambert

Publication Date - June 2010

ISBN: 9780195380415

208 pages
5 1/2 X 8 1/4 inches

Frank Lambert, who was a student at Ole Miss at the time, provides an engaging narrative of the tumultuous period surrounding James Meredith's arrival at the University of Mississippi


James Meredith broke the color barrier in 1962 as the first African American student at Ole Miss. The violent riot that followed would be one of the most deadly clashes of the civil rights era, seriously wounding scores of U.S. Marshals and killing two civilians, and forcing the federal government to send thousands of soldiers to restore the peace.

In The Battle of Ole Miss: Civil Rights v. States' Rights, Frank Lambert--who was a student at Ole Miss at the time and witnessed many of these events--provides an engaging narrative of the tumultuous period surrounding Meredith's arrival at the University of Mississippi. Written from the unique perspective of a student, Lambert explores the riot and its aftermath, examining why James Meredith deemed it important enough to risk his life in order to enter Ole Miss and why scores of white students resisted Meredith's enrollment. Lambert captures the complex and confused reactions of the students--most of whom had never given race a second thought--and many of whom were not averse to Meredith attending Ole Miss.

In examining this single incident, Lambert illuminates the broader themes of social and cultural fault lines, Mississippi race relations, the fight for racial justice, and the political realignment that transformed the south. Part of the Critical Historical Encounters series, The Battle of Ole Miss: Civil Rights v. States' Rights is an ideal supplement for undergraduate U.S. Survey courses and courses in African American History, Civil Rights, the U.S. Since 1945, and the 1960s.

About the Author(s)

Frank Lambert is Professor of History at Purdue University.


"[A] fascinating look back at a turning point in U.S. history."--Booklist

"Well suited for classroom use and should enable instructors to bring Meredith's story to the center of the civil rights discussion....[A] tight, tension-filled retelling of the story....Lambert's solid, accessible book will make it possible for a generation of students who can't imagine how brave Meredith had to be or how big a change he inaugurated to understand how it all happened."--History News Network

"An incisive, well-researched account...should be on the reading list of anyone who seeks to understand the struggle for racial justice. Highly recommended."--CHOICE

Table of Contents

    Editor's Foreword
    Part One: The Mississippi Way
    1. Growing Up Black in Mississippi
    2. Growing Up White in Mississippi
    3. Black GIs Challenge the "Mississippi Way"
    4. Whites Mobilize Against the "Second Reconstruction"
    Part Two: Confrontation at Ole Miss
    5. James Meredith Puts Ole Miss on Trial
    6. The Battle of Ole Miss
    7. Mission Accomplished: Ole Miss Integrated?
    8. Intended and Unintended Consequences

Related Titles