In 1964, in a state where only 6.4 percent of eligible black voters were registered, Mississippi civil rights groups banded together to fight Jim Crow laws. Testing a bold new strategy, they recruited students from across the United States. That summer these young volunteers defied segregation by living with local black hosts, opening Freedom Schools to educate disenfranchised adults and their children, and canvassing door to door to register voters. Everyone involved knew there would be risks, but it was shocking when three civil rights workers disappeared and were presumed murdered. The organizers' worst fears were realized as volunteers, local activists, and hosts faced terror on a daily basis. Yet by the middle of August, incredible strides had been made in spite of the vicious intimidation. The summer unleashed an unstoppable wave of determination from black Mississippians to demand their rights and helped bring about a new political order in the American South. Fifty years after this landmark civil rights project in Mississippi, an award-winning author offers a riveting account of events that stunned the nation, featuring interviews with volunteers from that fateful summer and many never-before-seen photographs.