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Dark Soul of the South: The Life and Crimes of Racist Killer Joseph Paul Franklin Hardcover – May 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc. (May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597975435
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597975438
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #561,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this chilling but important book, Mel Ayton examines the case of a man who—despite being a murderer, would-be assassin of public figures, and white supremacist—remains a hero to many Americans, and that’s probably the most shocking fact of all."--Paul Donnelley, author of 501 Most Notorious Crimes and Assassins and Assassinations in World History

"Mel Ayton, who has written extensively on political assassinations in the United States, now has ventured where no other writer has. With his latest book, Dark Soul of the South, he delves into the world of a racial serial killer and attempted assassin of Hustler magazine’s Larry Flynt and civil rights leader Vernon Jordan. While many believe that the ugly precepts of racism expired with the successes of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, Ayton’s in-depth study of the activities of those such as Franklin is a reminder that the demise of racism was, and still is, somewhat premature.”--Larry A. Sneed, author of No More Silence: An Oral History of the Assassination of President Kennedy

"With his latest well-written book, about the racist killer John Paul Franklin—along with his other works, particularly his important book about the 1968 murder of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy—Mel Ayton has staked his claim as one of the finest true-crime writers in the business. His portrayal of right-wing fanatic Franklin is both chilling and enlightening, as it chronicles the murderer’s past crimes while seeming to give warning about other individuals, also motivated by their sick views of American politics, who might follow in his wake. Ayton’s disciplined attention to detail in his story is investigative journalism at its very best."--Dan E. Moldea, author of The Hoffa Wars

"Mel Ayton's books on the Kennedy and King assassinations exhibited a great clarity of mind and scrupulous regard for the facts. He now brings these all-too-rare tools to a grim story about the underside of American society."--Max Holland, author of The Kennedy Assassination Tapes

About the Author

Mel Ayton has written numerous books and articles, including A Racial Crime, the story of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassin, and The Forgotten Terrorist: Sirhan Sirhan and the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy (Potomac Books, 2007). Ayton has appeared in documentaries produced by the National Geographic Channel (CIA Secret Experiments, 2008) and the Discovery Channel (CIA Mind Control, 2006; Conspiracy Test: The Robert Kennedy Assassination, 2008) and has worked as a historical consultant for the BBC. He lives in County Durham, England.

More About the Author

See www.melayton.com

Mel Ayton is the author of Questions of Controversy: The Kennedy Brothers, The JFK Assassination: Dispelling the Myths, and A Racial Crime: James Earl Ray and the Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. Ayton has a master's degree in history from Durham University, is a former Fulbright Teacher, deputy headmaster, and college lecturer, and lives in County Durham, England. He is the author of The Forgotten Terrorist: Sirhan Sirhan and the Assassination of Robert F.Kennedy and, in a review for the Guardian newspaper, he was described as "...one of the few analysts who has fully grasped (the RFK assassination's) Middle East connection". Ayton has appeared in documentaries produced by the National Geographic Channel ("CIA Secret Experiments", 2008) and the Discovery Channel ("CIA - Mind Control" 2006, "Conspiracy Test: The Robert Kennedy Assassination" 2008).

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JohnDoe on November 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've always been fascinated by this story and I had the pleasure to correspond with Mr.Franklin for awhile last year. The impression I got was pretty much the same you get from the book, he has no remorse and believes killing blacks was his duty as a white man. He told me: "I didn't enjoy any of the murders, i just figured, it's a nasty job but somebody's gotta do it!". He told me he kind of considered himself a Mafia hitman, just with a different kind of mission. This said, the book is great, I was impressed at how much I learned, the topic of "hate crime" and racial tension in those years is covered extensively, and so is the life of Mr.Franklin. You get to know Joseph as you learn how he grew up, was introduced to the American Nazi Party and adopted its beliefs, and finally ended up on death row. You won't regret buying this book, it's unbiased and tells it as it was. No matter what you think about Mr.Franklin, this book is a honest look at the life of Mr.Franklin and racism in America.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Desmarais on February 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unbelievable that so many innocent bystanders were caught up in this criminal's killing spree! This book is enlightening and shows how prejudice can be and often is so terrible. The killer realizes after he is caught and imprisoned that he could get along with most people. But we know from this book that his racism was caused by his upbringing, and his environment supported his hate. What a sad story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By susan jovcic on December 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was very well written. The author evoked the sense of time and place brilliantly. I thoroughly recommend it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Bishop on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The author of this work is another left-liberal hostile to the ideological or philosophical mindset of someone such as his subject, Joseph Paul Franklin, a white racist who terminated a number of people for strictly racist reasons. Still, he does ably present the timelines and facts of Franklin's career as a serial killer.

Ayton indulges a great deal of psychobabble theory on Franklin's background and upbringing involving poverty and physical abuse to 'explain' his murderous impulses and actions once he became an adult. He does not explain how 99% or others who have the same or similar backgrounds do not live out the same violent lives. These kinds of trendy explanatory diversions might be convincing to some but fall flat for others.

Unfortunately Ayton does not go into any detail or depth on the many bank robberies Franklin succeeded in carrying out. I think this is an odd omission as it would have surely reflected on Franklin's planning skills, confidence, tactics, etc.

The author's basic hostility to his subject prevents him from seeing him from an entirely different perspective: Franklin being a man with genuine beliefs and convictions who was highly unusual in that instead of merely TALKING about issues and problems, he took ACTION in a very direct way. This completely sets him apart from his fellow racists in this or that organization who sit and talk and exchange leaflets and theorize and posture about but who in the end do nothing at all. I am not saying Franklin was right, or was a hero, or should be admired, but the author surely could have come to understand and explain the man in those terms, if he could have mustered sufficient objectivity and balance.

Most of Ayton's sources are newspaper clippings and interview material.
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