"This is a chronicle of an extraordinary life. I should like to think that it might become one of those indispensable collections, valuable as the record of an indomitable woman and the struggle for American justice in the twentieth century."
"Virginia Durr's courage, outspokenness, and steely conviction in the earliest days of the civil rights movement helped change this nation forever."
"Virginia Durr was passionately honest about the South and disarmingly frank in her criticism of her beloved section. Nowhere is this more obvious than in her letters to so many people in so many segments of American society."
—John Hope Franklin
"A passionate crusader for justice. Durr's account makes clear that the legislative gains of the mid-1960s, while critically important, did not remove the blot of racial inequality from American society. There was much left to be done. This engaging book of letters reminds us that it is the struggle that matters and that a life in struggle has its own rewards."
—Lani Guinier, Harvard Law School
"Patricia Sullivan should be commended for the concise yet graceful hand that she applies to these materials. Her efforts have produced a welcome addition to the literature of southern liberalism and to the phenomenon that Wilbur J. Cash defined in 1941 as the South's 'savage ideal.' There are many eloquent works by southern progressives on the run—Willie Morris's North Toward Home, for example—but Durr's letters can help students, scholars, and general readers understand southerners who ran homeward, returning to live in their native land because of family obligations, conscience, or an irrational love for the region."
"Virginia's letters to friends like Eleanor Roosevelt, C. Vann Woodward and Lady Bird Johnson, ably assembled and annotated by Sullivan . . . crackle with intelligence and humor. An informal autobiography of a remarkable woman, as well as an unusual personal history of the civil rights movement."
—New York Times Book Review
"Freedom Writer, in many ways, magnifies the strengths of [Durr's autobiography] Outside the Magic Circle, but makes it very clear how unique (and thus isolated) Clifford and Virginia Durr were in Montgomery in the 1950s and 1960s. Virginia Durr was exceptional; a woman who clearly understood both the privileges of whiteness and the social and psychological costs of segregation, as well as the penalties for opposing the racial structure of the South. The Durrs paid in spades for their efforts, and Virginia Durr's letters give a day-by-day account of the cost. The value of this collection is the cumulative effect of the 423 pages of letters. Durr's letters hammer home over and over some of the most important themes of the civil rights movement."
—Lisa Lindquist Dorr, Georgia Historical Quarterly
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