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The Lynching was not what I expected, which was a longer and possibly sensational court trial. Instead, it is a very readable history of the civil rights movement in Alabama. Yes, it reports the murder of an African-American teen in Mobile in the 1980's and how justice was finally accomplished and how that led to the demise of the Klan. It does so much more than that because it recounts the fear the white supremacists caused and the struggles of the movement in the 1960's, thus putting the murder in context. The reader can learn about George Wallace, Morris Dees, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the UKA, and more. Parts of this book reminded me of today's political environment. It may shed some light on the appeal of a certain kind of political machinations.
I would hope that those whose knowledge of this part of U.S. history is vague would turn to this book as a good way to become better informed. As racial tension still is with us, we owe it to our country and to each other to be well-informed about what has gone before us. This book is a rather painless way to learn for the book holds the reader's attention. The audio version is well narrated. I recommend it.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
I just finished "The Lynching" in time for watching walls to be built, visas to be revoked, all because of our hatred and mistrust for The Other. This book brings to life the hatred of a twisted man, Bennie Jack Hays and how he inspired his son, who he beat down so badly he would've done anything for his father, and a teenager to do the unspeakable. In 1981.
Hate stays current; hate stays alive and well.
It makes the murder as brutal as it was, those who did it as ignorant and pugnacious as they were, and shows the power one organization can have over a LOT of people.
What was so chilling was when history was gotten into, primarily George Wallace, who thought nothing of spewing inflammatory rhetoric and then stood back as his words were acted upon with violence.
Martin Dees is the lawyer who initially makes his fortune by defending Klan members without regard; after all, to him segregation is natural. But he finds his conscience and starts doing the right thing when confronted with the brutality of the time.
Excellent book about right and wrong, about peace and war.
About a nineteen-year old boy who fought hard for his life because he just wanted to live.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful