Honor Killing: Race, Rape, and Clarence Darrow's Spectacular Last Case

Front Cover
Penguin, 2006 - History - 466 pages
24 Reviews

In the fall of 1931, Thalia Massie, the bored, aristocratic wife of a young naval officer stationed in Honolulu, accused six nonwhite islanders of gang rape. The ensuing trial let loose a storm of racial and sexual hysteria, but the case against the suspects was scant and the trial ended in a hung jury. Outraged, Thalia’s socialite mother arranged the kidnapping and murder of one of the suspects. In the spectacularly publicized trial that followed, Clarence Darrow came to Hawai’i to defend Thalia’s mother, a sorry epitaph to a noble career.

It is one of the most sensational criminal cases in American history, Stannard has rendered more than a lurid tale. One hundred and fifty years of oppression came to a head in those sweltering courtrooms. In the face of overwhelming intimidation from a cabal of corrupt military leaders and businessmen, various people involved with the case—the judge, the defense team, the jurors, a newspaper editor, and the accused themselves—refused to be cowed. Their moral courage united the disparate elements of the non-white community and galvanized Hawai’i’s rapid transformation from an oppressive white-run oligarchy to the harmonic, multicultural American state it became.  

Honor Killing is a great true crime story worthy of Dominick Dunne—both a sensational read and an important work of social history

  

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Review: Honor Killing: How the Infamous "Massie Affair" Transformed Hawai'i

User Review  - Max - Goodreads

This wonderful book, which goes to great lengths in its research and marration, deals with an honor killing in Hawaii in the 1920s. Thalia Massie, wife os a Navy lieutenant, alleged that she was gang ... Read full review

Review: Honor Killing: How the Infamous "Massie Affair" Transformed Hawai'i

User Review  - Bill Mcconnell - Goodreads

A fast-paced history of the sensational trial of a Hawaiian man and other non-whites unfairly charged with the rape of Navy officer's wife. This is also an indictment of the US Navy's role in ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Nothing but Trouble
7
Paradise of the Pacific
22
Something Awful Has Happened
43
Thalias Story
56
Hells Half Acre
65
Arrest
82
Rush to Judgment
93
The Shame of Honolulu
214
A Death in the Islands
234
Penthouse for a Prison
247
Tears of Heaven
259
Grand Jury
275
Attorney for the Damned
293
A Copper Miners Son
306
Territory of Hawaii v Fortescue et al
317

Making News
108
Alibis and Accusations
121
Taking Sides
138
Grace and Tommie
149
On Trial
159
For the Defense
179
LustSodden Beasts
197
Dementia Americana
336
Everybody Knows I Love You
354
Where Is Kahahawai?
363
The Unwritten Law
376
Case Closed
388
Prelude to Revolution
401
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

David E. Stannard received his Ph.D. from Yale University and is a professor of American studies at the University of Hawai'i. A Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and American Council of Learned Societies fellow and a widely recognized authority on Hawai'ian history and culture, he has written five previous books, including American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World.

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