Bitter Harvest

Richmond Flowers and the Civil Rights Revolution

John Hayman

Foreword by Jimmy Carter

Title Details

Pages: 346

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in

Formats

Paperback

Pub Date: 11/01/2016

ISBN: 9-781-6030-6371-5

List Price: $29.95

Bitter Harvest

Richmond Flowers and the Civil Rights Revolution

John Hayman

Foreword by Jimmy Carter

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Bitter Harvest traces the development of Richmond Flowers, a color politician who began his career as a segregationist but who, as Attorney General of Alabama, fought bitterly against Governor George Wallace in trying to support the Constitution. In the process, he sacrificed his political career.

Flowers was elected Attorney General in 1962. A likable storyteller who had served in the state senate, Flowers came into office promising like the rest to send the Yankees a message. He did not seem the stuff of which heroes (or martyrs) are made. But faced with the choice of upholding the law or of taking the popular course, he chose to uphold the law. Events thereafter made him a central figure in the most violent years of the civil rights revolution.

The book sets this story against the background of the Southern war against civil rights, a savage contest motivated by hatred and fear. It advances the thesis that during this period, Alabama suffered a fundamental failure in leadership which determined the state's response to the demand for social change. Alabama's leaders encourage lawlessness with their statements and actions. They took the state down a self-destructive course which has had lasting and damaging consequences.

Bitter Harvest: Richmond Flowers and the Civil Rights Revolution is not only the life story of Alabama Attorney General Richmond Flowers (1918-2007) but also a window into America's tumultuous civil rights era. Flowers's story is part of a wider tale of reactionary hatred and violence during the civil rights era, a time when much of Alabama's leadership utterly failed the state by tacitly encouraging lawlessness and brutality. Bitter Harvest is a welcome addition to public and college library biography shelves, highly recommended.

—Midwest Book Review

About the Author/Editor

JOHN HAYMAN taught college, directed studies of information technology in African universities, and published six books and more than 60 articles. He was editor of Teaching and Learning with Computers and was a consulting editor for the Journal of Educational Research. Dr. Hayman lived in Birmingham, Alabama, with his wife, Clara Ruth; he died in 1999 shortly before the publication of his final book, A Judge in the Senate: Howell Heflin's Career of Politics and Principle.