The Leo Frank case seems to be suffering the same fate as the Massie case-this is the second account in two years. Harry...

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THE LEO FRANK CASE

The Leo Frank case seems to be suffering the same fate as the Massie case-this is the second account in two years. Harry Golden's A Little Girl is Dead had the assets of appearing earlier, of appealing to a more popular readership, and of dealing more extensively with the case and particularly with Leo Frank (and his domestic situation). Mr. Dinnerstein who teaches American history spends less than half of his book (shorter to begin with since close to 100 of its 240 pages are devoted to notes and appendices) on the case itself: the murder of thirteen-year-old factory worker Mary Phagan who would symbolize Southern white womanhood; the damaging testimony of the Negro sweeper Conley against superintendent Leo Frank, although Conley was known to have written one of the murder notes and had been seen trying to remove blood from a shirt: and the sociological-racial aspects of Frank's sentence and conviction on the grounds that he was a Northerner, an industrialist and a Jew. The murder, sentence, its commutation, and Frank's ultimate lynching took place just before World War I and one of the more horrifying, lingering mementoes of Mr. Dinnerstein's well researched account of an oversentimentalized, oversensationalized case-the pilgrimages to the hanging tree which rabid natives ""hugged and patted.

Pub Date: April 1, 1968

ISBN: 0820331791

Page Count: -

Publisher: Columbia University Press

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1968