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Blood and Bone: Truth and Reconciliation in a Southern Town Hardcover – February 8, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In Blood & Bone, Jack Shuler does a masterful job in writing about 'Truth and Reconciliation in a Southern Town,' the words of his subtitle...Only Shuler could have written this important book."

-- Post and Courier (Charleston)

"An impressive work of scholarship, written with a narrative flair and regard for historical accuracy, Blood and Bone: Truth and Reconciliation in a Southern Town is highly recommended reading and a core addition to the growing body of literature on 20th Century race relations in the American South."
--Midwest Book Review


"Shuler makes clear that the reconciliation process is long and begins with listening to and paying attention to each other's stories. . . . Filled with the voices of men and women willingly or reluctantly responding to a journalist's probing, Shuler's report paints a dark picture with glimmers of light."

--Kirkus Reviews

"Shuler does an excellent job of comparing present-day Orangeburg to the town of the 1960s."

Michael J. Goleman, "The Journal of Southern History," Vol. 79, #2, May 2013

"Jack Shuler's Blood and Bone is one of the best books ever written on a southern small town. The Orangeburg Massacre had a profound effect on me as it did for so many others living in South Carolina at the time and since. The massacre has blighted the image of Orangeburg like a blister that won't heal. Shuler has written a nuanced story of Orangeburg since that bloody night. He tells all sides of the story with fairness and compassion. The people we meet in these pages are wonderful and the final chapter is spectacular. Shuler gives us a moving love song to his home town."

--Pat Conroy

"Jack Shuler's poetic account of the Orangeburg Massacre of 1968 achieves William Blake's command to see a world in a grain of sand--in this case, the grand American agonies of race and violence in an intimate story of a small Southern place."

--Marcus Rediker, author of The Slave Ship: A Human History

From the Inside Flap

A fresh perspective on the Orangeburg Massacre and its legacy
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (February 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611170486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611170481
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,560,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jack Shuler is assistant professor of English at Denison University. Shuler's book Calling Out Liberty: The Stono Slave Rebellion and the Universal Struggle for Human Rights (Mississippi University Press, 2009) explores the development of human rights in early America repositioning the often-assumed sources of these important and often challenged ideals.

Shuler's second book, Blood and Bone: Truth and Reconciliation in a Southern Town (University of South Carolina Press, February 2012), examines the 1968 Orangeburg Massacre, the killing of three black students at a historically black college in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Shuler's hometown. Part memoir, part history, the book explores how the community has and has not changed since 1968 in an effort to understand the challenges of racial reconciliation in the 21st century.

Shuler's criticism, interviews, reviews, and poems have appeared in the Columbia Journal of American Studies, Southern Studies, South Carolina Review, Fast Capitalism, Reconstructions: Studies in Contemporary Culture, Hanging Loose, The Brooklyn Review, Big City Lit, and Failbetter.

For more information, see www.jackshulerauthor.com

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Hunt on July 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The central event in Shuler's book is one that brought brief national attention to his hometown of Orangeburg, South Carolina. On February 8, 1968, during a week of protests centered on attempts to desegregate a bowling alley, a large group of law enforcement officers and a crowd of students faced each other near the campus of historically black South Carolina State College. The students threw hard words at the state troopers who were at the front of the law enforcement phalanx. Some threw bottles and scraps of wood. Whether any carried weapons or fired shots would later become a matter of much dispute. The state troopers had come with loaded weapons, pistols and carbines, and nine of them opened fire for a period of about 8 seconds. Three students were killed and several more injured and rushed to hospitals.

Shuler was born nearly a decade after the event, which has been variously described as an "incident," a "riot," a "murder," and a "massacre." He grew up in an Orangeburg still deeply divided on racial lines and attended, as almost all white Orangeburgers of his day did, a private school rather than the overwhelmingly black public school. His book can be read in more than one way. It is partly the story of his attempt to come to grips, personally, with a legacy of segregation and racial injustice in his own community; partly an attempt to discover how those who lived through the events of 1968 have coped with the trauma; partly a means of addressing some old and hidden communal wounds by exposing them to light and air. At times it seems to be a "cold case" investigation, attempting to uncover facts not revealed during the trial (and acquittal) of the nine troopers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James P. Davis on November 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Wow--Shuler's book is a moving and fresh account of the Orangeburg massacre and a town's coming to terms with it.
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