“This is a book which I hope will be read by every American. It is simply told and easy to read, but not pleasant.”
—Eleanor Roosevelt, from the foreword to the first edition (1962)
“Daisy Bates’ vivid memoir illuminates one of the key events of an historic freedom struggle. . . . Her story will serve as a source of inspiration for future participants in the long struggle for human freedom.”
—From the afterword
At an event honoring Daisy Bates as 1990’s Distinguished Citizen then-governor Bill Clinton called her “the most distinguished Arkansas citizen of all time.” Her classic account of the 1957 Little Rock School Crisis, The Long Shadow of Little Rock, couldn’t be found on most bookstore shelves in 1962 and was banned throughout the South. In 1988, after the University of Arkansas Press reprinted it, it won an American Book Award.
On September 3, 1957, Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to surround all-white Central High School and prevent the entry of nine black students, challenging the Supreme Court’s 1954 order to integrate all public schools. On September 25, Daisy Bates, an official of the NAACP in Arkansas, led the nine children into the school with the help of federal troops sent by President Eisenhower–the first time in eighty-one years that a president had dispatched troops to the South to protect the constitutional rights of black Americans. This new edition of Bates’s own story about these historic events is being issued to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Little Rock School crisis in 2007.