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Distinguished war correspondent argues that civil rights movement used military strategies to knock down Jim Crow laws.

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A procession carrying signs for equal rights, integrated schools, decent housing, and an end to bias during the civil rights march on Washington D.C.
Handout ./Reuters
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A procession carrying signs for equal rights, integrated schools, decent housing, and an end to bias during the civil rights march on Washington D.C., in this August 28, 1963 photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress. REUTERS/Library of Congress/Handout via Reuters

Protesters of the civil rights movement were deliberately unarmed. Nonviolence was a strategic plan of the movement to break down the segregation of the Jim Crow laws.

Thomas Ricks argues in his new book “Waging a Good War” that although the movement was nonviolent, some of the tactics used to achieve equality aligned with military strategy, thereby making the movement sustainable for some 14 years.

Can the strategies employed by civil rights leaders be considered military tactics? Should modern-day activists apply these same approaches from the civil rights era? How does this information change what we know about history?

Guest: Thomas E. Ricks, veteran journalist and author of "Waging a Good War: A Military History of the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1968"

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, October 11.

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