In the wake of the horrific racial hate crimes of the 1960s,
a newly-married, naive, white FBI Agent from the north,
John Whiteside III, finds himself and his bride, appointed by the FBI to the Mississippi Delta. He is told to make the best of this remote assignment in Greenville, Mississippi.
In his memoir, Cypress Shade, Whiteside reflects on this tense period in US history that further shaped the Civil Rights Movement and forever changed his life.
John and I grew up together. He was “Jack” when I knew him. This book is not only honest and entertaining, but it is also thought provoking and eye opening. It is laced with numerous anecdotes and detailed accounts of John’s personal, on-the-job experiences. The central theme is race relations in the south in the early 1970’s. Though we have made considerable progress as a nation, many of the prejudices that existed then, still present a very real challenge today. I would highly recommend “Cypress Shade” to anyone with an interest in law enforcement and the civil rights movement.
Amazon.com, Tonkamaster, June 10, 2020
I enjoyed this read not only because it was a wonderful view into the life of an FBI agent, but because it took me back to my own introduction to the rural south in the early '70s. I could taste the food, feel the humidity, and experience the racial problems all over again, thanks to John's descriptions and insights. Definitely worth reading!
Amazon.com, Darcie, August 23, 2020
On the surface, Whiteside’s memoir, set in the 1970’s in Greenville, Mississippi, treats readers to the historical reality of, for example, Parchman prison, the inner workings of SWAT teams, and FBI investigations that took the author across impoverished rural areas throughout the Deep South. Along the way, we meet criminals, their families, their acquaintances and informants – a cast that intrigues both Whiteside and the reader. On a deeper and more complex level, Cypress Shade is a penetrating reflection of the stark conflicts regarding place, race, economics, duty and the author’s insistence on fairness, decency, and an undeviating belief in the integrity of humanity.
Amazon.com, S. Lewis, December 15, 2015