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A list of key readings about Mississippi.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.


  • Busbee, Westley F. Mississippi: A History (2005), good survey
  • Gonzales, Edmond, ed. A Mississippi Reader: Selected Articles from the Journal of Mississippi History (1980)
  • Krane, Dale and Stephen D. Shaffer. Mississippi Government & Politics: Modernizers versus Traditionalists (1992), government textbook; online edition
  • Loewen, James W. and Charles Sallis, eds. Mississippi: Conflict and Change (1974)
  • McLemore, Richard, ed. A History of Mississippi 2 vols. (1973)
  • Skates, John Ray. Mississippi: A Bicentennial History (1979)
  • Swain, Martha H. ed. Mississippi Women: Their Histories, Their Lives (2003). 17 short biographies

Specialized studies

Indians and archaeology

  • Wells, Samuel J.. and Roseanna Tubby. After Removal: The Choctaw in Mississippi (1986) excerpt and text search
  • White, Douglas R., George P. Murdock, Richard Scaglion. Natchez Class and Rank Reconsidered. Ethnology 10:369- 388. {1971}] study of the kingdom of the Natchez people before the French-Indian wars of the 1720s. online

Pre 1920

  • Ballard, Michael B. Civil War Mississippi: A Guide (2000) online edition
  • Cresswell, Stephen. Multiparty Politics in Mississippi, 1877-1902 (1995) online edition
  • Cresswell, Stephen. Rednecks, Redeemers, And Race: Mississippi After Reconstruction, 1877-1917 (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Frankel, Noralee. Freedom's Women: Black Women and Families in Civil War Era Mississippi (1999) excerpt and text search
  • Garner, James Wilford. Reconstruction in Mississippi (1901) reflects Dunning School historiography; online edition
  • Harris, William C. The Day of the Carpetbagger: Republican Reconstruction in Mississippi (1979)
  • Kirwan, Albert D. Revolt of the Rednecks: Mississippi Politics: 1876-1925 (1965), classic political history; online edition
  • Libby, David J. Slavery and Frontier Mississippi, 1720-1835 (2004) excerpt and text search
  • McMillen, Neil R. Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow (1989)
  • Olsen, Christopher J. Political Culture and Secession in Mississippi: Masculinity, Honor, and the Antiparty Tradition, 1830-1860 (2000) online edition
  • Sydnor, Charles S. Slavery in Mississippi. (1933).
  • Thompson, Julius E. Lynchings in Mississippi: A History, 1865–1965. (McFarland, 2007. 253 pp. isbn 978-0-7864-2722-2.)
  • Wayne, Michael. The Reshaping of Plantation Society: The Natchez District, 1860–1880 (1983)
  • Wynne, Ben. Mississippi's Civil War: A Narrative History. Mercer University Press, 2006. 243 pp. isbn 978-0-88146-039-1.)

Since 1920

  • Beito, David T., “‘Let Down Your Bucket Where You Are’: The Afro-American Hospital and Black Health Care in Mississippi, 1924–1966,” Social Science History, 30 (Winter 2006), 551–69.
  • Bolton, Charles C. The Hardest Deal of All: The Battle over School Integration in Mississippi, 1870-1980 (2005) excerpt and text search
  • Crespino, Joseph. In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution (Princeton University Press; 2007, 360 pages). Examines the conservative backlash among white Mississippians after the state's leaders strategically accommodated themselves to federal and civil-rights demands
  • Dittmer, John. Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (1994) excerpt and text search
  • Katagiri, Yasuhiro. The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission: Civil Rights and States' Rights (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Key, V.O. Southern Politics in State and Nation (1949), has famous chapter on Mississippi, pp 229-53.
  • Lesseig, Corey T. “ ‘Out of the Mud’: The Good Roads Crusade and Social Change in Twentieth-Century Mississippi.” Journal of Mississippi History 60 (Spring 1998): 51–72. (not online)
  • McLemore, Nannie Pitts. "James K. Vardaman, a Mississippi Progressive," Journal of Mississippi History 29 (1967): 1-11
  • Nash, Jere, Andy Taggart, and John Grisham. Mississippi Politics: The Struggle for Power, 1976-2006 (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Osborn, George Coleman. James Kimble Vardaman: Southern Commoner (1981).
  • Parker, Frank R. Black Votes Count: Political Empowerment in Mississippi After 1965 (1990) excerpt and text search
  • Peirce, Neal R. The Deep South States of America: People, Politics, and Power in the Seven Deep South States (1974)] see chapter 4 on Mississippi in 1970s online edition
  • Ownby, Ted. American Dreams in Mississippi: Consumers, Poverty & Culture, 1830-1998 (1998) online edition
  • Silver, James W. Mississippi: The Closed Society (1963)
  • Smith, Lewis H. and Robert S. Herren, "Mississippi" in Richard P. Nathan, Fred C. Doolittle, eds. Reagan and the States (1987), pp. 208-30.

Local and regional histories

  • Bolton, Charles C. Poor Whites of the Antebellum South: Tenants and Laborers in Central North Carolina and Northeast Mississippi (1994) excerpt and text search
  • Brazy, Martha Jane. An American Planter: Stephen Duncan of Antebellum Natchez And New York (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Cobb, James C. The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity (1992) excerpt and text search
  • Currie, James T. Enclave: Vicksburg and Her Plantations, 1863-1870 (1980) excerpt and text search
  • Dollard, John. Caste and Class in a Southern Town (1957) sociological case study of race and class in 1930s
  • Helferich, Gerry. High Cotton: Four Seasons in the Mississippi Delta (2007) excerpt and text search
  • James, Dorris Clayton. Ante-Bellum Natchez (1968)
  • Morris, Christopher. Becoming Southern: The Evolution of a Way of Life, Warren County and Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1770–1860 (1995) excerpt and text search
  • Nelson, Lawrence J. "Welfare Capitalism on a Mississippi Plantation in the Great Depression." Journal of Southern History 50 (May 1984): 225–50. in JSTOR
  • Owens, Harry P. Steamboats and the Cotton Economy: River Trade in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta (1990). excerpt and text search
  • Polk, Noel. Natchez before 1830 (1989)
  • Willis, John C. Forgotten Time: The Yazoo-Mississippi Delta After the Civil War (2000)
  • Woodruff, Nan Elizabeth. American Congo: The African American Freedom Struggle in the Delta (2003) excerpt and text search

Primary sources

  • Abbott, Dorothy. ed. Mississippi Writers: Reflections of Childhood and Youth. Vol. 2: Nonfiction, (1986).
  • Bond, Bradley G. ed. Mississippi: A Documentary History (2003) excerpt and text search
  • Moody, Anne. Coming of Age in Mississippi. (1968) memoir of Black girlhood excerpt and text search
  • Rosengarten, Theodore. All God's Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw (1974) memoir of a Black Mississippian; excerpt and text search