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The Last Lynching: How a Gruesome Mass Murder Rocked a Small Georgia Town
     

The Last Lynching: How a Gruesome Mass Murder Rocked a Small Georgia Town

by Anthony S. Pitch
 

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Nothing casts a more sinister shadow over our nation’s history than the gruesome lynchings that took place between 1882 and 1937, claiming 4,680 victims. During incidents of racist violence, lynchers tortured their victims before murdering them. Most killers were never brought to justice.

In 1946, the bodies of two men and two women were found near

Overview


Nothing casts a more sinister shadow over our nation’s history than the gruesome lynchings that took place between 1882 and 1937, claiming 4,680 victims. During incidents of racist violence, lynchers tortured their victims before murdering them. Most killers were never brought to justice.

In 1946, the bodies of two men and two women were found near Moore’s Ford Bridge in rural Monroe, Georgia. Their killers were never identified. And although the crime reverberated through the troubled community, the corrupt courts, and eventually the whole world, many details remained unexplored—until now.

In The Last Lynching, Anthony S. Pitch reveals the true story behind the last mass lynching in America in unprecedented detail. Drawing on some ten thousand previously classified documents from the FBI and National Archives, The Last Lynching paints an unflinching picture of the lives of the victims, suspects, and eyewitnesses, and describes the political, judicial, and socioeconomic conditions that stood in the way of justice. Along the way, The Last Lynching sheds light into a dark corner of American history, which no one can afford to ignore.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/25/2016
Pitch (The Burning of Washington) makes good use of almost 10,000 official documents from the FBI and the National Archives to reconstruct the tragic events that led to the 1946 murders of four African-Americans on a bridge in rural Georgia. At the time of the murders, one of the victims, a man named Roger Malcolm, was returning from prison after being arrested for stabbing a white a man a few days earlier. His employer, a white farmer named Loy Harrison, paid the bail and picked up Roger up, accompanied by Roger’s wife, Dorothy, and her brother and sister-in-law George and Mae Dorsey. On the ride home, the four victims were pulled from Harrison’s car and gunned to death. Harrison is soon suspected of orchestrating the murders on the bridge that day, but the investigation is hampered by the lead role of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Pitch successfully makes the argument that agency did not have the resources, experience, or commitment to justice needed to close the case. The history of the push for federal anti-lynching laws, the racist opposition to such legislation in Congress, and current attempts to commemorate the tragedy, place the narrative of the probe in a broader context of racism as it exists in small-town communities today. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

"The Last Lynching delivers an eye-opening reminder of ongoing bigotry." —Kirkus

“Pitch (The Burning of Washington) makes good use of almost 10,000 official documents from the FBI and the National Archives to reconstruct the tragic events that led to the 1946 murders of four African-Americans on a bridge in rural Georgia…The history of the push for federal anti-lynching laws, the racist opposition to such legislation in Congress, and current attempts to commemorate the tragedy place the narrative of the probe in a broader context of racism as it exists in small-town communities today.” —Publishers Weekly

“Amazing research on the barbarity of Jim Crow South and vigilante justice.” —Morris Dees, cofounder and chief trial counsel, Southern Poverty Law Center

“Anthony Pitch’s The Last Lynching tells a haunting story that, sadly, looks more relevant and new all the time.” —Jeffrey Toobin, CNN senior legal analyst and author of The Oath and The Nine

“A page-turner with a shudder and a message. . . . The four African American victims had no constitutional protections, due process of law, mercy, or witnesses. It was a cold-blooded massacre that must never happen again.” —Nadine Strossen, immediate past president, American Civil Liberties Union

Kirkus Reviews
2015-12-21
An account of the savage killings of two black couples in an insular, bigoted Georgia town just after World War II. The author of several intriguing, disparate historical studies, Pitch ("They Have Killed Papa Dead!": The Road to Ford's Theatre, Abraham Lincoln's Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance, 2008, etc.) delves into the largely unsolved lynching in Monroe, Georgia, in July 1946, which was prompted, superficially, by the stabbing of a white man by a jealous husband. However, coming on the heels of World War II—when the Nuremberg Trials were just then convicting Nazi war criminals—and involving an African-American veteran of the struggle, the awful irony of the senseless, clannish vigilante violence emerges. The murders took place during the closing days of a "race-baiting" Georgia gubernatorial election campaign by white supremacist incumbent Eugene Talmadge, who pledged to ban blacks from voting if re-elected. Within this racially fraught atmosphere, Roger Malcolm chased his wife, Dorothy, to the home of white farmer Barnett Hester and stabbed Hester, having suspected that he and Dorothy were "carrying on." Hester did not die, and Malcolm was released on bond from jail by his "boss man" Loy Harrison, who, along with another black couple riding along as passengers in Harrison's car, was allegedly going to take him out of the county. Ambushed by a white posse while crossing Moore's Ford Bridge, the two couples were dragged from the car and shot. Despite many eyewitnesses in the area, as well as what two boys watching from a nearby hill later revealed about the tragedy, the FBI was not able to indict anyone for the murders. While Pitch provides an adequate sketch of the town, atmosphere, victims, and prime suspects, he does not reach the resonant depth of reporting displayed in Karen Branan's The Family Tree (2015). With suspicions still extant in the town, the book delivers an eye-opening reminder of ongoing bigotry.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781510701755
Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date:
03/22/2016
Pages:
244
Sales rank:
333,144
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author


Anthony S. Pitch is the author of “They Have Killed Papa Dead!” on the Lincoln assassination, The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814, and Our Crime Was Being Jewish. A journalist on four continents, he has appeared on C-SPAN TV, the History Channel, National Geographic TV, Book TV, NPR, and PBS. He lives in Potomac, Maryland.

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