Three Lives for Mississippi Book Summary

Three Lives for the Mississippi, novel written by William Huie covered the untouched story of three Civil Rights activists who lost their lives in 1964. Huie was assigned by New York Herald Tribune to investigate the story of the three men killed. On his arrival at Mississippi, he began interviewing people about the event and the crime circles. At the end of the story Huie provided a documentary that dealt in detail the murdered and the prosecutor. His collection was a master piece including all the details about the activists, murderers and all those people who watched the crime and stayed away from it with eye closed. Huie’s campaign forced the nations to end their prejudices of the South and many supremacist groups while some kept the same hatred. (Huie, 1965)

This book is the one and only narrative of atrocious Freedom Summers assassinations in the state of Mississippi. It was the month of June when the segregation in America reached its zenith. The segregation and hatred mounted to such a stage that heinous killing of poor Americans took place. In June 21st 1964, Mississippi was the hot spot area for the segregation of Americans and most of the civil rights were fought for here. On this night, in a small town of Philadelphia called Neshoba County, three adolescents’ activists of Freedom Summer movement were brutally murdered. (Huie, 1965)

June 21st night marked the kidnap and heinous murder of three activists of the civil rights movement who were called Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner. From Mississippi, James Chaney came who was an African American. The other two activists belonged to the North and in South they were known as “outside agitators”. The assassination of these three people took the nation by shock and marked the slackening of the white power in the South. These murders also brought indignity o Mississippi State. At the end of the story, in total nineteen local men got charged out of which only seven were termed as culpable of plot. (Huie, 1965)

This breaking story was asked to be covered by William Bradford Huie by New York Herald Tribune. Writing this documentary was very risky for him as he conducted interviews, searched for answers and questioned a lot of people. It was not at all a safe observation. The State of Mississippi was an irate community at that time. This story is not a compilation of personal diaries or articles, or a fantasy or sociological or political story. It is a story made up of facts and figures that were brought up by fate in a catastrophe situation. Huie not only gave the details of traumatic events of the event but also the atrocious case of injustice of citizens of America who were murdered viciously by other naïve Americans. This book also tells us about the trial that took place after three years of the killings. Huie gave a real life recount of this event which is upsetting enough to affect the ordinary Americans; as well as shake the people by shock and trauma when reading it even after so many years. (Huie, 1965)


Huie, William B. Three Lives for Mississippi. New York: WCC Books, 1965. Print.

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