KLANWATCH

BRINGING THE KU KLUX KLAN TO JUSTICE

A succinct and sometimes understated look at one of America's ``longest-running Klan prosecutions,'' told by an experienced hate- crimes investigator. Stanton (a fourth-generation southerner) details his activity in the ``Klanwatch Project''—a ``clearinghouse'' out to bust Klan conspiracies. Much of the book focuses on the efforts of Morris Dees, a young attorney who defended one of the assaulted protestors in the now-infamous Decatur, Alabama, incident in which Klansmen attacked those demonstrating on behalf of a retarded black man accused of raping a white woman. While trying to get the Klan, Stanton and Dees confronted the harsh ``racial realities of Alabama politics,'' or ``what was euphemistically known as the Southern way of life.'' Among the obstacles were indifferent, sometimes hostile, law enforcement officials, leniency in the courts, and the prevalence of ``all-white'' juries. Stanton's narrative unfolds against the backdrop of the Klan's resurgence during the late 70's and 80's. He also introduces some of the far right's more frightening celebrities, including lynching enthusiasts, Aryan paramilitary instructors, and idealogues who mix quasi-Nazi teachings with Christian scripture. Yet Stanton's most poignant figures stem from the morally ambivalent mainstream as they betray ``an undercurrent of vigilantism'' beneath their genteel surface. Stanton resorts to too much tedious verbatim trial dialogue but rebounds with a chilling description of the moment when a murder victim's mother and the Klansman who killed him confront each other. However, he forfeits a fine opportunity to probe the minds of the villains whose inner workings obviously fascinate him. An adequately documented advocate's perspective that is more a detailed synopsis than an in-depth study. (For a more involving and thorough parallel account, see Morris Dees's A Season for Justice, p. 450.)

Pub Date: June 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-8021-1327-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Grove

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1991

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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