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The informant : the FBI, the Ku Klux Klan, and the murder of Viola Liuzzo  Cover Image Book Book

The informant : the FBI, the Ku Klux Klan, and the murder of Viola Liuzzo

May, Gary, 1944- (Author).


"In The Informant, historian Gary May reveals the untold story of the murder of civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo, shot to death by members of the violent Birmingham Ku Klux Klan at the end of Martin Luther King's historic Voting Rights March in 1965. The case drew national attention and was solved almost instantly, because one of the Klansmen present during the shooting was Gary Thomas Rowe, an undercover FBI informant. At the time, Rowe's information and subsequent testimony were heralded as a triumph of law enforcement. But as Gary May reveals in this provocative and powerful book, Rowe's history of collaboration with both the Klan and the FBI was far more complex. Based on previously unexamined FBI and Justice Department records, The Informant demonstrates that in its ongoing efforts to protect Rowe's cover, the FBI knowingly became an accessory to some of the most grotesque crimes of the civil rights era--including a vicious attack on the Freedom Riders and perhaps even the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. A tale of a renegade informant and an intelligence system ill prepared to deal with threats from within, The Informant offers a dramatic and cautionary tale about what can happen when secret police power goes unchecked."--Jacket.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780300184136
  • ISBN: 0300184131
  • ISBN: 0300106351
  • ISBN: 9780300106350
  • Physical Description: xv, 431 pages ; 24 cm
  • Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, ©2005.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 373-416) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Undercover man -- One hell of a good job -- Serious business -- Bombing matters -- Cat and mouse -- Season of suffering -- Night riders -- This horrible brew -- A slight case of murder -- Parable of the two goats -- A temple of justice -- Taking the sun away -- Digging in -- Pain and anguish -- A search for the truth -- Dealing with the Devil.
Subject: Liuzzo, Viola, 1925-1965.
Rowe, Gary Thomas.
Murder > Alabama > Lowndes County.
Civil rights workers > Alabama > Biography.
Informers > Alabama > Biography.
Ku Klux Klan (1915- )
United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Undercover operations > Alabama.
Selma to Montgomery Rights March (1965 : Selma, Ala.)
Liuzzo, Viola, 1925-1965
Rowe, Gary Thomas.
Ku Klux Klan (1915- )
United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Selma to Montgomery Rights March.
Civil rights workers.
Undercover operations.
Alabama > Lowndes County.
Liuzzo, Viola, 1925-1965.
USA. Bureau of Investigation.
Liuzzo, Viola.
Genre: Biography.

Available copies

  • 2 of 2 copies available at State Library of Alabama.


  • 0 current holds with 2 total copies.

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