The New York Times bestselling author of The Kennedy Women chronicles the powerful and spellbinding true story of a brutal race-based killing in 1981 and subsequent trials that undid one of the most pernicious organizations in American history—the Ku Klux Klan. On a Friday night in March 1981 Henry Hays and James Knowles scoured the streets of Mobile in their car, hunting for a black man. The young men were members of Klavern 900 of the United Klans of America. They were seeking to retaliate after a largely black jury could not reach a verdict in a trial involving a black man accused of the murder of a white man. The two Klansmen found nineteen-year-old Michael Donald walking home alone. Hays and Knowles abducted him, beat him, cut his throat, and left his body hanging from a tree branch in a racially mixed residential neighborhood. Arrested, charged, and convicted, Hays was sentenced to death—the first time in more than half a century that the state of Alabama sentenced a white man to death for killing a black man. On behalf of Michael’s grieving mother, Morris Dees, the legendary civil rights lawyer and cofounder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, filed a civil suit against the members of the local Klan unit involved and the UKA, the largest Klan organization. Charging them with conspiracy, Dees put the Klan on trial, resulting in a verdict that would level a deadly blow to its organization. Based on numerous interviews and extensive archival research, The Lynching brings to life two dramatic trials, during which the Alabama Klan’s motives and philosophy were exposed for the evil they represent. In addition to telling a gripping and consequential story, Laurence Leamer chronicles the KKK and its activities in the second half the twentieth century, and illuminates its lingering effect on race relations in America today. The Lynching includes sixteen pages of black-and-white photographs.
Author: Laurence Leamer
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: 2016-06-07
Genre: Social Science
The Lynching is the powerful, spellbinding true story of a brutal race-based killing in 1981 and the dramatic two trials during which the United Klans of America, the largest and most dangerous Klan organization in America, is exposed for the evil it represents. New York Times bestselling author Laurence Leamer tells a gripping story, weaving in such figures as legendary civil rights lawyer Morris Dees, Alabama governor George Wallace, and Klan Imperial Wizard Robert Shelton, and describes the Klan’s lingering effect on race relations in America today. The story begins in March 1981, when Henry Hays and James Knowles, members of Klavern 900 of the UKA, picked up nineteen-year-old Michael Donald on the streets of Mobile, Alabama. They were seeking to retaliate after a largely black jury failed to convict a black man accused of murdering a white policeman. Hays and Knowles beat Donald, cut his throat, and left his body hanging from a tree branch in a racially mixed residential neighborhood. Arrested, charged, and convicted, Hays was sentenced to death—the first time in more than half a century that the state of Alabama had given that penalty to a white man for killing a black man. Morris Dees, the cofounder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, saw the case as an opportunity to file a lawsuit against the UKA. His colleagues told him that his lawsuit was impossible to win and a folly. But Dees had heard that before. On behalf of Michael’s grieving mother, Mrs. Beulah Donald, Dees filed a first-of-its-kind civil suit and charged the Klan organization and its leaders with conspiracy. He proceeded to put the Klan leaders on trial, which produced some of the most audacious testimony of any civil rights trial—as well as a stunning and precedent-setting verdict. Dees destroyed the UKA and created a weapon that the SPLC used time and again against other racist organizations. The Lynching is a suspenseful true story that takes us into the heart of darkness, but in the end shows that Michael Donald and other civil rights martyrs did not die in vain.
A nonfiction legal thriller that traces the fourteen-year struggle of two lawyers to bring the most powerful coal baron in American history, Don Blankenship, to justice Don Blankenship, head of Massey Energy since the early 1990s, ran an industry that provides nearly half of America's electric power. But wealth and influence weren't enough for Blankenship and his company, as they set about destroying corporate and personal rivals, challenging the Constitution, purchasing the West Virginia judiciary, and willfully disregarding safety standards in the company's mines—in which scores died unnecessarily. As Blankenship hobnobbed with a West Virginia Supreme Court justice in France, his company polluted the drinking water of hundreds of citizens while he himself fostered baroque vendettas against anyone who dared challenge his sovereignty over coal mining country. Just about the only thing that stood in the way of Blankenship's tyranny over a state and an industry was a pair of odd-couple attorneys, Dave Fawcett and Bruce Stanley, who undertook a legal quest to bring justice to this corner of America. From the backwoods courtrooms of West Virginia they pursued their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and to a dramatic decision declaring that the wealthy and powerful are not entitled to purchase their own brand of law. The Price of Justice is a story of corporate corruption so far-reaching and devastating it could have been written a hundred years ago by Ida Tarbell or Lincoln Steffens. And as Laurence Leamer demonstrates in this captivating tale, because it's true, it's scarier than fiction.
This book dramatically chronicles the significant events that led Morris Dees to the front lines of the civil rights struggle and his ongoing crusade against hate groups.This is the story of the courageous and often lonely journey of a skilled and controversial trail lawyer whose career has paralelled a nation's struggle to ensure freedom and equality for all its citizens.
Author: Timothy B. Tyson
Publisher: Broadway Books
Release Date: 2007-12-18
"Daddy and Roger and 'em shot 'em a nigger." Those words, whispered to ten-year-old Tim Tyson by one of his playmates in the late spring of 1970, heralded a firestorm that would forever transform the small tobacco market town of Oxford, North Carolina. On May 11, 1970, Henry Marrow, a 23-year-old black veteran, walked into a crossroads store owned by Robert Teel, a rough man with a criminal record and ties to the Ku Klux Klan, and came out running. Teel and two of his sons chased Marrow, beat him unmercifully, and killed him in public as he pleaded for his life. In the words of a local prosecutor: "They shot him like you or I would kill a snake." Like many small Southern towns, Oxford had barely been touched by the civil rights movement. But in the wake of the killing, young African Americans took to the streets, led by 22-year-old Ben Chavis, a future president of the NAACP. As mass protests crowded the town square, a cluster of returning Vietnam veterans organized what one termed "a military operation." While lawyers battled in the courthouse that summer in a drama that one termed "a Perry Mason kind of thing," the Ku Klux Klan raged in the shadows and black veterans torched the town's tobacco warehouses. With large sections of the town in flames, Tyson's father, the pastor of Oxford's all-white Methodist church, pressed his congregation to widen their vision of humanity and pushed the town to come to terms with its bloody racial history. In the end, however, the Tyson family was forced to move away. Years later, historian Tim Tyson returned to Oxford to ask Robert Teel why he and his sons had killed Henry Marrow. "That nigger committed suicide, coming in here wanting to four-letter-word my daughter-in-law," Teel explained. The black radicals who burned much of Oxford also told Tim their stories. "It was like we had a cash register up there at the pool hall, just ringing up how much money we done cost these white people," one of them explained. "We knew if we cost 'em enough goddamn money they was gonna start changing some things." In the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird, Blood Done Sign My Name is a classic work of conscience, a defining portrait of a time and place that we will never forget. Tim Tyson's riveting narrative of that fiery summer and one family's struggle to build bridges in a time of destruction brings gritty blues truth, soaring gospel vision, and down-home humor to our complex history, where violence and faith, courage and evil, despair and hope all mingle to illuminate America's enduring chasm of race. From the Hardcover edition.
The life of Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most remarkable success stories in the U.S. Here is a young man from an Austrian village who became the greatest bodybuilder in history, a behemoth who even today in retirement is the dominating figure in the sport. Here is an immigrant with a heavy accent and a four syllable last name, who marries a Kennedy princess and becomes the number one movie star in the world, an icon known and celebrated everywhere. Here is a political novice with no administrative experience who becomes governor of California in one of the most unusual and controversial elections in American history, and confounds his critics by proving an effective, popular leader. In Fantastic, Leamer shows how and why this man of willful ambition and limitless drive achieved his unprecedented accomplishments. As the author of a celebrated trilogy on the Kennedy family, Leamer has access to a unique array of sources. Leamer traveled with candidate Schwarzenegger during the gubernatorial campaign. He has interviewed Governor Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver, and their closest friends and associates, most of whom had never talked to an author before. The result is a startlingly intimate book, the pages studded with news making revelations. This book of passionate intensity captures a Schwarzenegger unlike any other public figure of our time, a unique political/cultural figure, his time in Sacramento only a way station on a journey where no one has traveled before. The book captures the personal Schwarzenegger, too, and the story of his single days, marriage, and family life. No one who reads this book will ever see Schwarzenegger in the same way again.
Author: David Henry
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Provides a rare glimpse into the life of an outrageously human, fearlessly black, openly angry and profanely outspoken comedic genius whose humble beginnings as the child of a prostitute helped shaped him into one of the most influential and outstanding performers of our time.
Just when you thought you couldn't take it any longer comes The President's Butler, a novel that will make you laugh out loud about politics and maybe cry a little. You'll join Vincent V. Victor on the most wildly improbable journey of our time. Although Victor is a fictional character, he sounds much like Donald Trump. The flamboyant New Yorker evolves from the most hated businessman in America to a populist hero. When Victor falls on financial hard times, he decides to run for president and sets off on a campaign that changes America forever. And who's there to tell the story but the man who knows Victor best, his butler Billy Baxter. The butler sees it all, forgets nothing, and tells everything. Laurence Leamer has written fifteen books, five of them New York Times best sellers. He has spent forty years observing American politics in preparation for this portrait of a Manhattan hillbilly reaching the White House. And it isn't only politicians who are savagely skewered in this searing fictional portrait of American politics and culture gone wrong. American journalists are portrayed as every bit as self-serving as the politicians they report upon. The President's Butler is one of the funniest novels in years, but it is also drop dead serious. It is a book that no one who reads it will ever forget. Early praise for The President's Butler "The President's Butler cannot be read without thinking of....well, you know who. But a reader won't know whether to laugh or cry at this spot-on satirical romp deftly eviscerates modern-day politics that are almost too absurd to parody yet also too frightening to ignore. " David Corn, Washington bureau chief, Mother Jones "Laurence has produced not just another political story with a short shelf space. This is a wonderful read and he has combined all the elements of some of the greatest American novels. There is a whole lot of Gatsby here along with much that is something reminiscent of bestselling Fletcher Knebel's Dark Horse. The narrator talks to us in the voice of Jack Burden, the haunted and dark soul who suffered through his years with Willie Stark, the Huey Long type in Robert Penn Warren's classic All the King's Men. While the relevance to the 2016 Presidential campaign is obvious, this novel is really for the ages."John Zogby, founder of the Zogby Poll and author of We Are Many, We Are One: Neo-Tribes and Tribal Analytics in 21st Century America "A wickedly funny, astute, acerbic and well developed parody about a ruthless and incredibly politically incorrect billionaire running for president" Splash "Beautifully written, The President's Butler will make readers groan and roar with laughter, and puts Leamer in heady company, as the worthy inheritor of Sinclair Lewis, Robert Penn Warren and Tom Wolfe. Leamer's protagonist, Vincent Victor, is the new Gatsby, reflecting all that compels our era's rendezvous with inanity: ambition, class, politics and greed." Mark Perry, bestselling author of The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur "Parts of The President's Butler may be laugh-out-loud funny, but this is a serious and important book that must be read. Laurence Kotlikoff, presidential candidate at Kotlikoff2016.com "Damn-well written, racy, readable, funny and sharp, with a glorious mix of snobbery meets the American bottom line. Reminds me of A Confederacy of Dunces!" Nigel Hamilton, New York Times bestselling author of Commander in Chief
Author: Stephen Puleo
Publisher: Beacon Press
Release Date: 2010-11-10
Around noon on January 15, 1919, a group of firefighters was playing cards in Boston's North End when they heard a tremendous crash. It was like roaring surf, one of them said later. Like a runaway two-horse team smashing through a fence, said another. A third firefighter jumped up from his chair to look out a window-"Oh my God!" he shouted to the other men, "Run!" A 50-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses had just collapsed on Boston's waterfront, disgorging its contents as a 15-foot-high wave of molasses that at its outset traveled at 35 miles an hour. It demolished wooden homes, even the brick fire station. The number of dead wasn't known for days. It would be years before a landmark court battle determined who was responsible for the disaster.
The New York Times bestselling history of the glamor and debauchery of the ultra-wealthy Palm Beach community--from The Breakers to Trump's Mar-a-Lago. For more than a hundred years, Palm Beach has been an exclusive and exotic universe of wealth and privilege in America. And until Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme devastated its eternally sunny world, the reality of this affluent enclave has rarely been exposed to outsiders. Now, in Madness Under the Royal Palms, resident insider Laurence Leamer reveals the secrets and scandals of this South Florida island via a cast of characters that includes social climbers, trophy wives, sugar daddies, glamorous widows and their "escorts," sociopathic multimillionaires, and elegant society queens. This summer, dive into the unbelievable true story of love, lust, money, and murder in an uniquely American paradise.
Author: Paula Moore
Publisher: UNM Press
Release Date: 2009-02-01
The murder of 18-year-old Ovida "Cricket" Coogler in 1949 launched a series of court inquiries and trials that would reshape the direction of New Mexico politics and expose political corruption. Paula Moore examines the infamous murder and the events that unfolded in its wake.University of New Mexico Press
Of all Ingrid Bergman's classic roles, none was as dramatic as her own life. As Time Goes By is the stunning and sometimes shocking story of this talented actress. Miniseries rights optioned by Warner Brothers. 32-page photo insert.