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

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

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by David E. Stannard
     
 

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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

Overview

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

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Combines superb courtroom drama with a sweeping view of a lush world fed by unfettered power and clamorous racism." —New York Daily News

"First-rate history that works as a true-crime thriller and as a social and political history." —Bryan Burrough, coauthor of Barbarians at the Gate and author of Public Enemies

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143036630
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/02/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
761,214
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.05(d)
Age Range:
18 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Combines superb courtroom drama with a sweeping view of a lush world fed by unfettered power and clamorous racism." —New York Daily News

"First-rate history that works as a true-crime thriller and as a social and political history." —Bryan Burrough, coauthor of Barbarians at the Gate and author of Public Enemies

Meet the Author

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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Honor Killing: Race, Rape, and Clarence Darrow's Spectacular Last Case 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best true crime books I have read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago