Books: A Children's Crusade

David Halberstam stirringly chronicles the brave young warriors in the civil rights struggle

On Sunday, May 14, 1961, a Greyhound bus rolled into Anniston, Ala. A crowd of more than 150 local citizens waited at the bus station. They were surprisingly well dressed. Many of the men wore jackets and ties. Many of them carried iron pipes and baseball bats. A witness said it looked like either a lynching or a picnic.

Seven years after the Brown school- desegregation decision, six years after the Montgomery bus boycott, the Congress of Racial Equality had dispatched a few buses loaded with Freedom Riders--young Negro civil rights workers and a few whites--to challenge segregation laws in various...

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