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Book Review: Mississippi Reckoning

By Natman Schaye

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Mississippi Reckoning

By Mitchell Zimmerman
Mitchell Zimmermann (2019) 


Mississippi Reckoning is a novel that opens with Kareem Jackson’s execution as witnessed by his lawyer, Gideon Roth. Roth had veered from a successful civil practice, much to his partners’ discontent, to spend a decade representing Jackson in post-conviction. We learn that, even before his client’s execution, Roth’s professional and personal lives, including his marriage, have deteriorated. The novel guides the reader through the monumental struggles that follow and his quest for justice on his own terms. As Roth’s quest — and the story’s tension — advance, the reader becomes intimately acquainted with the history of both Roth and Jackson.

Roth, we learn, comes of age in the 1960s. As a college student, he leaves his safe, middle-class cocoon in New York for a summer of doing volunteer civil rights work in Mississippi. Here, the fictional Roth joins nonfictional history. Shortly after his arrival, three civil rights a

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