After fighting a protracted legal battle, James Meredith broke the color barrier in 1962 as the first African American student at the University of Mississippi. The riot that followed his arrival on campus seriously wounded scores of U.S. marshals and killed two civilians; more casualties than any other clash of the civil rights era. To restore order, the Kennedy administration dispatched thousands of soldiers to Oxford. In The Price of Defiance, Charles Eagles shows that the stunning eruption of violence resulted from the "closed society's" long defiance of the civil rights movement and federal law.
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