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Lynching in the Heartland: Race and Memory in America

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""The first sounds the prisoners heard were murmurs and bits of conversation. Beginning around 6:30 P. M. on Thursday, August 7, 1930, the words grew louder as more and more people gathered on the sidewalk, street, and yard in front of the Grant County Jail in Marion, Indiana, 'Get'em,' some shouted."" "So begins James H. Madison's gripping story about a hot summer evening in the Midwest, where three black teenagers, accused of murdering a young white man and raping his white girlfriend, waited for justice in an Indiana jail. As the sun set a mob ...
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Overview

""The first sounds the prisoners heard were murmurs and bits of conversation. Beginning around 6:30 P. M. on Thursday, August 7, 1930, the words grew louder as more and more people gathered on the sidewalk, street, and yard in front of the Grant County Jail in Marion, Indiana, 'Get'em,' some shouted."" "So begins James H. Madison's gripping story about a hot summer evening in the Midwest, where three black teenagers, accused of murdering a young white man and raping his white girlfriend, waited for justice in an Indiana jail. As the sun set a mob dragged the three prisoners from the jail to the courthouse square and lynched two of them. No one in Marion was ever punished for these murders." A Lynching in the Heartland is the story of that horrible night, and how Marion's black and white citizens dealt with the tragedy. Yet Madison has written much more than a book about lynching - this is a book about America's long and violent struggles with its color line.
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Editorial Reviews

International Herald Tribune
Conveyed in a simple,straightforward fashion,Madison's story acquires its own persuasive eloquence.
Darlene Clark Hine
This is a profoundly insightful study about race that all Americans should read.
W. Fitzhugh Brundage
With the skills of a historian and the artistry of a journalist, Madison has written more than a study of lynching....
Essence
A piercing, provocative account...that will forever alter the way you see race, memory and justice in America....
Washington Post Book World
Conveyed in a simple, straightforward fashion, Madison's story acquires its own persuasive eloquence.
Washington Post Book World
Conveyed in a simple, straightforward fashion, Madison's story acquires its own persuasive eloquence.
Essence
...a piercing, provocative account...that will forever alter the way you see race, memory and justice in America...
From The Critics
...a piercing, provocative account...that will forever alter the way you see race, memory and justice in America...
Publishers Weekly
The jacket photograph is chilling: the bloody bodies of two African-American young men hang from a tree while a crowd of white men and women mills below, dressed as if attending a parade or political rally, gawking and pointing. In this heartfelt and wide-ranging study of this tragedy, Madison explores the events of August 7, 1930, in the small town of Marion, Ind. The two men along with a third, who narrowly escaped were in jail on charges of murdering a white man and raping a white woman when a white mob stormed the jail and hung the two men from a tree outside the nearby courthouse. But Madison (a historian at Indiana University) moves beyond these stomach-churning facts, scrutinizing racial dynamics in Marion in the decades both before and after the lynching. Race was so etched into the minds of white residents that it even followed heroes into death: on a local memorial for World War I soldiers, the names of two of the dead are followed by "(col.)" for "colored." Madison probes how the lynching became a subtext in later years, including in the integration of the town swimming pool in 1954. Only recently, Madison says, has Marion come to terms with its past: the survivor of the lynching was awarded the keys to the city in 1993, and an African-American was finally elected sheriff in 1998. As passionate as it is disturbing, Madison's book is a dire reminder of the horrors the American heartland held for the dispossessed. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Madison (history, Indiana Univ., Bloomington) examines the story behind a lynching that occurred August 7, 1930, in Marion, IN, and was captured in a photograph showing a large mob of white men and women some smiling for the photographer and all gawking at the suspended corpses of two black men. With community encouragement, the mob had seized three black men who murdered a young white man and raped his girlfriend. The killers hanged Tom Shipp, 19, and Abe Smith, 18, in front of the county courthouse; for unknown reasons, James Cameron, 16, was not lynched. Cameron and most black and white townspeople continually struggled with their memories. Some sought justice, and in the 1990s they met together for remembrance and healing. Through this specific incident, Madison views our history of racial violence. A readable, well-researched history, this volume joins other recent titles (e.g., James Allen and others' Without Sanctuary, LJ 3/1/00) about America's tragic legacy of lynching. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries. Charles L. Lumpkins, Pennsylvania State Univ., State College Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"...documents in superb detail the tragic 1930 lynching of Abe Smith and Tom Shipp and its lasting impact..."—Crystal Feimster, Jourbanal of Southern History

"...an impressively thorough and thoughtful account of the Marion lynching and its long municipal aftermath."— David J. Garrow, Los Angeles Times

"As passionate as it is disturbing, Madison’s book is a dire reminder of the horrors the American heartland held for the dispossessed.”—" —Publishers Weekly

"A piercing, provocative account of a famous lynching that will forever alter the way you see race, memory, and justice in America.”—" —Essence Magazine

Through creative and meticulous research, this books reveals the complex roots and lasting significance of what happened...
-American Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312239022
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 10/12/2001
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.41 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

James H. Madison is Miller Professor of History at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he teaches American history. This is his fourth book.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Maps
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 A Night of Terror 5
Ch. 2 "Strange Fruit" in the American Democracy 13
Ch. 3 An Ordinary Place in Time 27
Ch. 4 Lines of Color, Lines of Community 43
Ch. 5 The Stories Begin 63
Ch. 6 "A Fair Mob" 81
Ch. 7 "All Over Now" 93
Ch. 8 Remembering 111
Ch. 9 The Long Lines of Color 129
Notes 155
Bibliography 183
Index 197
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