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"[Makes] history, with all its messiness, ugliness, and even humanity, come vividly alive."—Chicago Tribune
Lebsock takes us deep into this contentious, often surprising world, where blacks struggle to hold on to their post-Civil War gains against a rising tide of white privilege. A sensation in its own time, this case offers the modern reader a riveting encounter with a South in the throes of change.
“So much happens—and so much of it is unexpected—in Suzanne Lebsock's gripping study of the sensational ax murder of Lucy Jane Pollard...that we can only urge readers to read for themselves the acclaimed author's brilliant descriptions of racial politics (four African Americans were accused), the constant threat of lynching, the vicious court battles and how it all ended.” — Dallas Morning News
“How refreshing! Honest-to-goodness, 100 percent-genuine facts in an age of docudramas and fictional histories....Impressive job of historical re-creation....[Lebsock] has done a service in resuscitating this forgotten tale.” — New York Times
Winner — Library of Virginia Literary Award, 2004
Winner — Francis Parkman Prize, 2004