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Getting Away with Murder [Kindle Edition]

Chris Crowe
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.99
Kindle Price: $13.69
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

The kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till is famous as a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement. Emmett Till, a fourteen-year-old Black teenager from Chicago, was visiting family in a small town in Mississippi during the summer of 1955. Likely showing off to friends, Emmett allegedly whistled at a white woman. Three days later his brutally beaten body was found floating in the Tallahatchie River. The extreme violence of the crime put a national spotlight on the Jim Crow ways of the South, and many Americans-Black and white-were further outraged at the speedy trial of the white murderers.  Although the two white men were tried and acquitted by an all-white jury, they later bragged publicly about the crime. It was a galvanizing moment for Black leaders and ordinary citizens, including such activists as Rosa Parks.  In clear, vivid detail Chris Crowe investigates the before-and-aftermath of the crime, as well as the dramatic court trial, and places it into the context of the nascent Civil Rights Movement.

With lively narrative and abundantly illustrated with forty fascinating contemporaneous photographs, this impressive work of nonfiction brings fresh insight to the case in a manner that will be accessible and eye-opening for teenagers and adults alike.


Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-"The Emmett Till case was not the sole cause of the civil rights movement, but it was the final indignity that caused the flood of outrage to overflow the dam of racial injustice." Mainstream history has all but forgotten about this 14-year-old African American from Chicago who was murdered by two white men in Mississippi for making "ugly remarks" to one of their wives. The men were acquitted, and several months later, they were interviewed by Look magazine and publicly confessed to the crime. The event galvanized black Americans, and even many of the whites who had supported the defendants were appalled at their national confession. Four months after Till was killed, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, and the wheels of the civil rights movement were set in motion. Crowe's research is extensive and his writing is well suited to his audience. The black-and-white photographs add tension and realism to the story. The picture of the boy in his casket originally published in The Chicago Defender is a graphic, powerful testament to the brutality of the crime. This book is a mandatory addition to all libraries because of the impact and importance this crime had on our history.
Lynn Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-12. Most American history books don't include Emmett Till, the black 14-year-old from Chicago who was brutally murdered while visiting relatives in the Mississippi Delta in 1954. But the gruesome, racially motivated crime and the court's failure to convict the white murderers was a powerful national catalyst for the civil rights movement. Crowe, the author of Mississippi Trial (2002), a YA novel about Till's story, begins this nonfiction account with the events that led to the murder: on a dare, Till allegedly flirted with a local white woman; several days later he was kidnapped by the woman's husband and other men. In accessible, succinct, and sometimes colloquial language, Crowe details what happened on the horrible night, the court proceedings, and how the nation responded-- the "aftershocks" of the unbelievable ruling. Crowe is particularly successful in placing the murder within its larger historical context, detailing life both in the segregated Jim Crow South and in Emmett's less volatile but still segregated Chicago, and he doesn't shy away from the horrifying details (there's a shocking black-and-white photo of Emmett's disfigured corpse among the illustrations). Crowe's occasional re-creations of events are vivid, but like the rest of the text, they would have been better served with more extensive source notes; only a few in-text references and a concluding bibliography are provided. But Crowe's powerful, terrifying account does justice to its subject in bold, direct telling, supported by numerous archival photos and quotes from those who remember, including Emmett's mother, who wrote on her son's gravestone: "A little nobody who shook up the world." A time line and a list of further resources conclude. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 7024 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Dial (May 26, 2003)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002CIY8BU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,239 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Getting Away with Bad Research September 18, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book brings to mind an old saying:
"That which is probable is the greatest enemy to truth."

Theoretically, Getting Away with Murder could be used in classrooms as a history text as well as a model of research techniques. However, Professor Crowe clearly did not know Emmett Till's full story, and he filled in the blanks of his research with his own assumptions about what PROBABLY happened.

Crowe failed to critically analyze previously published material on the matter. He also missed an opportunity to introduce young people to the real Emmett Till -- the fun-loving, 14-year-old at the center of the most infamous act of racial violence in U.S. history.

Regardless of the prose and photos, in order to succeed, a book - any book - must finally deliver the truth. That's actually harder to do in a work of nonfiction than in a novel. One cannot objectively check the facts in a novel, any more than one can objectively judge the colors in a painting. But the facts in Crowe's colorful account of Emmett Till's story are verifiable.

In many instances, Crowe's facts are wrong.

Along with several arguably minor factual errors and name misspellings, Crowe's nonfiction narrative includes two major falsehoods: the claim that Curtis Jones accompanied Till on his train ride (pages 35, 47, 55), and the assertion that Jones was an eyewitness to Till's alleged "wolf whistle" toward Carol Bryant (page 55). Jones publicly recanted his statements in 1985, almost twenty years prior to Professor Crowe's publication.

Significantly, other than Jones, Carol Bryant is the only adult who claimed Till made the lewd remarks and whistles that later led her husband to seek revenge.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Did Emmitt Till deserve to die? February 4, 2013
Emphatically, no. Emmitt Till was a black child who was kidnaped, tortured, and murdered by white men on the account of one of the men's wives' upset. Eyewitness testimony disagrees with the official record, and after their acquittal, the murderers sold their story for money to a national magazine, and admitted the crime.

Emmitt Till was a 14-year-old child who was taken in an act of horrifying violence, tortured, and murdered.

I thought that would be clear from reading this book.

But oddly, Chris Crowe did little to introduce us to Emmitt Till, and wrote a surprisingly sympathetic context for his murderers' actions. I'm happy that a book like this exists to tell about the murder and the non-punishment of the murderers. It includes photographs, including the shocking photograph of the corpse, along with many photos of the mourners. The photographs of the murderers tell part of the story, too.

But all along, this is portrayed as the story of a black boy from Chicago whose Mama TRIED to warn him to humble himself in the south, whose Uncle SHOULD HAVE put him on a train back north when he heard the rumors, whom everyone agreed DESERVED a whipping or other severe punishment for speaking to a white woman... DID Emmitt Till really deserve it? If he truly spoke to Carolyn Bryant as rumored, did he deserve punishment? Did he deserve to die?

This book presents all the facets of the point of view that would answer that question with a YES. It shows the segregated south on the defensive against the Supreme Court and pushy "outsiders." It discusses the south's "Way of Life" over and over.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Case That Changed America March 28, 2007
A Kid's Review
I do recommend this book because there is still racism in the United States of America today and many people need to stop because nobody wants to be insulted because of there race. The books plot was how people were treated back in the 1940's and 50's and gave me many reasons why not to be a racist. I would not like to read another book by Chris Crowe again because this book was extremely sad. This book is perfect for people that are trying to improve themselves and are trying to put themselves in someone else's shoes way back when.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another Falsification of African American History November 17, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I WOULD NOT recommend this book for any African, or African American children or adults. This book was terribly researched. Crowes attempt to portray Emmett as black male who initiated his own demise is very sick. Shame on you Crowe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It was okay. March 17, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Getting away with murder was very informative, but was not interesting. It did not focus solely on Emmett Till, which I had hoped for when purchasing this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book the history buff August 11, 2011
By Flores
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you were approached on the street, by a stranger and asked, what did Emmett Till due to shape the world today? What would you respond. Most people would not know how to answer it due to they don't know who he is in the first place. But it would be a different story if you were asked what Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. did. Your answer would most likely and should be around help gain equality for all races. But little do people know that what sparked that fire was Emmett Till.
In the summer of 1955 two white males, Milam and Bryant demanded to be let into a shack occupied by Emmett Till and his Uncle's family. They then kidnapped Emmett, a fourteen year old African American boy from Chicago, tortured and eventually killed him. Several weeks later a fisherman found his body reported it. During the trial Milam and Bryant plead guilty to kidnapping but not to murder. Then from a jury of 12 white males they were found not guilty and let go of the murder of Emmett Till. "This is not a trial of racism or equality, this is trial or the murder of a boy" this was said by Milam and Bryant's Attorney. This was supposed to be the views of everyone in the courtroom for the trial of Emmett Till. But as you read in the book you'll see that this was nearly the case, Due to Emmett African background they didn't consider his murder as severe as of the murder of a white boy.
This book won't be for all readers such as those that read for fun or just to pass the time. It's more targeted for those who like know what caused the civil equality and times views have changed over time due to the author being somewhat of a omnisnt narrator, over viewing the whole case but from a bit of a bias stand point leaning to the unjust side. The views shift from the white Americans, to African Americans point of view but stays most on the injustice of the judicial system of the white America in the mid 1900's. But overall it add knowledge to the reason of how America came to be America.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
This book was tragic but it shows the hardships of life for African Americans in the South R. I. P.Emmett Till
Published 6 months ago by Chase Albright
5.0 out of 5 stars Got this book for my grandson. It was one ...
Got this book for my grandson. It was one of hte books for him to read during the summer.
Published 6 months ago by A. GADDIS
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a book all should read...
A tragic and horrendous story, and all true. Happened here in the USA. Very sad commentary on that era in our country's history. Read more
Published 7 months ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars A very sad but true story...
Back in 1955, a young boy was tortured and murdered for something silly he did...most people today have forgotten about this incident or never knew about it at all. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Faye Nordquist
4.0 out of 5 stars emmett
sad and true
Published 9 months ago by Kim Okai
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
I thought it was a good, educating book. I thought mostly everything was easy to understand. Overall
it was a splendid book.
Published 9 months ago by Caroline Cross Quinn
5.0 out of 5 stars American History
I've studied the history of the Till case for many years. This book provided a different perspective of what happened; more graphic, more realistic, and it brought everything to... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Lisa Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Emmett Till - Why do we not know him?
The kidnapping and murder of 14 year old Emmett Till is considered a little known catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Era ISD
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is a great account of a tragic story that sparked the civil rights movement. Definitely a good buy and a great story
Published 16 months ago by Maria Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Well
This is a heartbreaking story. My heart goes out to the family and hope the men are burning in hell.
Published 17 months ago by Alejandra Flores Romero
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More About the Author

Chris Crowe was born in Danville, Illinois, and attended schools in Illinois, New Mexico, and California before his parents settled down in Tempe, Arizona, where he graduated from McKemy Junior High and McClintock High School. He attended Brigham Young University on a football scholarship (and played in the 1974 Fiesta Bowl) and earned a BA in English. He taught English at McClintock High for 10 years while attending Arizona State University part-time, earning his masters and doctorate degrees.

He is the author of several books, most notably MISSISSIPPI TRIAL, 1955, which won several awards, including the 2003 International Reading Association's Young Adult Novel Award. His nonfiction book, GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER: THE TRUE STORY OF THE EMMETT TILL CASE, was an Jane Addams Honor book. His first children's book, JUST AS GOOD: HOW LARRY DOBY CHANGED AMERICA'S GAME, appeared in 2012. His newest book is a historical novel DEATH COMING UP THE HILL, scheduled to be released in October 2014.

Chris married his high school sweetheart, and they live in Provo, Utah, where he works in the English department at BYU. They are the parents of four children and grandparents of two lovely girls and three handsome boys.

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