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Confederacy Of Silence

Average Rating 4
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2004

    It's still flying across the room..

    This is one of the few books that I have wanted to throw across the room when I finished reading it. In some odd way I felt as though I was reading an amalgam of John Grisham and Robert Penn Warren with a dash of Walker Evans thrown in, literally, for good measure. I never had the feeling that Rubin came to know his characters because, to me, he portrayed them more as caricatures than as real people. I found myself losing track of his narrative because it seemed to be so ego-driven. I was repeatedly frustrated by Rubin's need to identify with so many disparate members of his new community in Mississippi. In too many instances, my interest waned as Rubin's focus on himself increased: his fears, his confronation with bigots, his homesickness. Especially tiresome were the endless cliches and stereotypes---to a degree I concur that the South and its issues are unique; on the other hand, I disagree with much of Rubin's thesis that Greenwood, Mississippi is a microcosm of the New Old South. In the South, in 2004, I really don't think that we know what is so New, and what was so Old.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2002

    Interesting, just not factual

    A quick entertaining read but Rubin embellishes his tale and presents his opinions as facts. If you can take his story with a grain of salt and as a story based on truth, go for it. If you're looking for the whole truth, look elsewhere. For a much better description of high school sports, the deep south, the role of sports and race relations in the south, time is better spent reading The Courting of Marcus Dupree by Willie Morris.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2002

    Death and Disillusionment in the Deep South

    Okay, I don't live in Mississippi. But I live in Alabama, and I think that qualifies me to say that in 'Confederacy of Silence,' Richard Rubin -- who quotes someone calling him 'a Yankee Jew' as soon as the book gets going -- has drawn one of the most well-rounded and thoughtful portraits of this never-boring place we call The South. Most Northerners would come down here with their minds made up, ready to stereotype, ready to poke fun and use a whole bunch of dialect (when Rubin uses it, which isn't much, it's really effective and makes a character come to life). Not Rubin. He doesn't know what he's going to find, and while he has some preconceived ideas, he discards them along the way and shows himself doing it. He really *lives* in Mississippi--he gets into his community, he finds things he thinks are fascinating, and he shares them with all of us in a way that makes us think they're interesting too. So that's one part of the book. Another part of the book is about Handy Campbell, a high-school football star whose amazing senior season Rubin covers, and his trial for murder six or so years later. I won't give away the ending, but what makes it so compelling is not just whether Handy is guilty but how Rubin feels about Handy and how the trial affects that. I read a review somewhere that compared this to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. And it's kind of true, because Confederacy of Silence shows us an entire community and how the way various people live in the community can lead to a murder and how that affects the town. Anyone who liked 'Midnight' will like this. It's not just a memoir, it's not just reporting, it's not even just true crime. It's a really well-rounded view of a whole place, the Mississippi Delta, and its history and its culture and what they lead to. It's great reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2004

    A good book

    I heard the author on NPR and was immediately intrigued by the story of Handy Campbell. This novel is hard to put down. I love stories that take place in the South. I found the author's encounter with one of Emmet Till's killers fascinating. I recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2002

    Vivid Modern Day Mississippi Tale

    This book is an extraordinary mix of suspense, humor, history, and sociology, seasoned with football, racism, Court TV, and violence. I found it to be an intensely personal account of the author¿s experience in Mississippi. The characters are rich and the story is shocking and fascinating. The author is a nice Jewish boy from New York who takes his first job out of the Ivy League as a sports reporter on a small Mississippi newspaper. From his arrival on a Greyhound bus he is clearly naïve to the Mississippi of the 1980¿s, but grows to know the people and ideas very well indeed. I loved this book and recommend it strongly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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