This is James Meredith's own account of his experiences as the first Negro to enter the University of Mississippi. A powerful narrative, dominated by its author's courageous and original personality, it contains not only the details of his fight to enroll and of the year he spent at Ole Miss, but also his personal assessment of the racial struggle in the South, and his proposals for the future course of the civil rights movement, which often differ markedly from those advocated by Martin Luther King and other Black leaders.
Reviews of Three Years in Mississippi:
- New York Times Book Review: "A strong man has written a great personal history. Although some people might prefer a more emotional presentation, Mr. Meredith almost achieves the position of the impersonal historian by relying mainly on verbatim and usually complete quotations from the documents in the case. This book is for readers of all ages as an inspiration to work for what is right despite 'impossible' obstacles."
- Newsweek Magazine: "The words are quite obviously Meredith's own, giving the volume its curious - and curiously moving - tone of half dispassionate documentary and half angry tract. These pages are highly effective humanized sociology. All the sights and sounds of Deep South Black life are here in revealing plentitude. All the while, James Meredith the human being emerges. It is not hard to see why both friends and foes have their difficulties with him. Throughout history, few human beings have been able to sustain themselves in hazardous pioneering adventure, divine or otherwise."
- New Yorker Magazine: "Seldom is a piece of violent history so dispassionately dissected by one of its participants as it has been by James Meredith in THREE YEARS IN MISSISSIPPI. Meredith writes carefully, deliberately, making sure each point is crystal-clear before he continues. His setting of the scene and his recounting of the events are precise and evocative, but the emotion has been screened out. This dispassionate quality, however, gives the book even more force. One of the most interesting things to emerge from this cool appraisal is a portrait of Meredith himself."