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Publishers WeeklyClegg, an Indiana University Professor of History, spies a century-old photograph of a lynching that occurred in his hometown, Salisbury, N.C., and is driven to write a book about it, seemingly solely for the academic reader. In his epilogue, Clegg notes without irony that North Carolina finally co-sponsored a symbolic U.S. Senate resolution apologizing to victims of lynching nearly a century later. Although Clegg explains that lynchings were designed to cower and harm blacks, North Carolina's lynchings still sound excessively harsh. Clegg spares no detail and the faint of heart-or stomach-should beware. Eventually he turns to the lynchings in the photograph, where six black men were charged with the murder of a local white family; three of them were immediately lynched. The book is crammed with historical information (the Appendix, Chapter notes, and Bibliography occupy 37 pages), but unlike masterful historians, Clegg eschews the vivid descriptions that would have brought his book to larger life. Instead there is detail, perhaps too much.
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