James D(ouglas) Forman

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Robert Unsworth

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 182

Today's students will not know of Mickey Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andy Goodman, and Forman has done an especially fine job in resurrecting their memory [in Freedom's Blood]. (Schwerner takes on almost Gandhi-ish dimensions.) This is fiction based heavily on fact. Only the dialogue among the three young men and their murderers is fictionalized. We relive late spring in Mississippi where the only thing hotter than the weather was the hatred the KKKers felt for that "atheist," "goateed" "Jew" Schwerner and for those he represented…. It is believed that Chaney, a local Black youth, and Goodman, a New Yorker in Mississippi less than 24 hours, were killed simply because they were with Schwerner. There is a surprising suspense to the story though we know too well its ending…. Coming at a time when the fires of idealism have cooled considerably, Forman's moving recall of that summer's events commands our attention.

Robert Unsworth, "Book Reviews: 'Freedom's Blood'," in School Library Journal (reprinted from the September, 1979 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co./A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1979), Vol. 26, No. 1, September, 1979, p. 156.

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