At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America
Winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
This extraordinary account of lynching in America, by acclaimed civil rights historian Philip Dray, shines a clear, bright light on American history’s darkest stain—illuminating its causes, perpetrators, apologists, and victims. Philip Dray also tells the story of the men and women who led the long and difficult fight to expose and eradicate lynching, including Ida B. Wells, James Weldon Johnson, Walter White, and W.E.B. Du Bois. If lynching is emblematic of what is worst about America, their fight may stand for what is best: the commitment to justice and fairness and the conviction that one individual’s sense of right can suffice to defy the gravest of wrongs. This landmark book follows the trajectory of both forces over American history—and makes lynching’s legacy belong to us all.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Amazing book about appalling history...As a history buff who has also read a lot about the death penalty in the United States, I was surprised by how many of the stories and names in this book were completely new to me. I was also surprised to learn how wrong I was in my prior assumptions about what a "typical" lynching looked like--I had no idea how often victims were killed by means other than hanging (especially being burned alive) or how often the body was further mistreated even after death. Horrific though this history is, though, this is also the story of the people and organizations who courageously fought back through campaigns to raise public awareness and attempts to pass legislation to make lynching a federal crime. Though it is easy to become depressed while reading all the lynching stories depicting the worst of humanity, Dray consistently highlights the best of humanity as well through the contributions of those who risked everything to resist lynching culture and put an end to "the shame of America." In short, I would definitely recommend this book to all those interested in American history or in having a better understanding of race relations in the United States.
Review: At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black AmericaUser Review - Goodreads
we were cool right up until all the Harry Truman buttsniffing
The Many Faces of Judge Lynch: Extralegal Violence and Punishment in America
No preview available - 2002