"Whatever the ultimate literary verdict on this sorrowful and penetrating but uneven book, I cannot think of a nonfiction author in this country who has so bravely taken up [James] Baldwin’s dare. Carr calls her volume "Our Town" without a trace of irony or superiority. While she certainly has no desire to exculpate the murderers of 1930 or their flagrantly bigoted successors today, neither does she intend to condemn them in order to elevate more enlightened whites like herself. Family history has offered her no such luxury." —Samuel G. Freedman, New York Times Book Review
“Cynthia Carr goes deep into the heart of our national darkness—the public ritual of violence we call the lynching. Carr investigates its aftermath in a small town and, page by page, we understand everything that we can, experiencing the shock, the disgust, and the harrowing heartbreak that always attend murder wearing the blues mask of ‘rough justice.’ Carr’s clear-eyed rendering of her quest follows the transformation of that murder from a rumor to a collective act to a disputed fact that sits uneasily in the memory of a community.” —Stanley Crouch, author of The Artificial White Man: Essays on Authenticity
From the Hardcover edition.