"This study incorporates a tremendous amount of information and provides a thorough understanding of lynching as spectacle, which will be of interest to scholars of American religion, the South, and American Studies."
-Journal of Southern Religion
"The scholar interested in southern culture will find the book rewarding."
-Journal of Mississippi History
"Expands our understanding of lynching. . . . Wood's most important contribution is her well-informed discussion of the impact of photography and film on lynching's rise and demise."
-Georgia Historical Quarterly
"This thoughtful and amply illustrated monograph shows how photography served first to cast atrocity as civility and subsequently undermined the practice of lynching by reconstruing what had become folk custom as, instead, an outrage."
-Arkansas Historical Quarterly
"An engaging treatment of the 'spectacle of lynching.'"
-The Alabama Review
"Adds an important chapter to a branch of scholarship that must remain as fluid, and sometimes uncertain, as its subject. . . . Wood, in choosing a ritualized form of violence and a unique set of sources through which to examine it, has made both a wise and creative choice, which has yielded a rich and troubling history."
"The freshness of approach provides a unique perspective and contributes to several fields of study. . . . Wood thinks clearly, demonstrates an impressive range of research skills, and writes well. . . . Offers the best account to date of the American film industry's disturbingly cozy appropriation of lynching in its early decades. . . . [Wood] provides so much primary source material and interpretive aplomb that her narrative rarely wavers in its originality or self-reliance."
-Journal of Southern History
"The public nature of lynching receives heavily researched and imaginative treatment in Wood's readable analysis."
-Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"Insightful. . . . One of the work's greatest strengths is the interplay between local and national contexts. . . . An excellent example of how visual culture and theory can enhance historical research without obscuring the argument. . . . Recommended for historians interested in how race and violence worked together to shape popular culture, and vice versa."
-Indiana Magazine of History
"[A] thoughtful, well-researched study. . . . Wood has established the centrality of visual media to the formation of racial identities and the perpetuation of a related culture of lynching more cogently and elaborately than any previous writer. . . . Provocative and lucid. . . . A significant contribution to our understanding of race and racial violence in American history."
"Wood's effective contribution refines our understanding of the relationship between lynching and culture. . . . Compelling and insightful. . . . A well-executed book that should be read by all who are interested in the cultural relations of lynching."
-Journal of American History
"Should be required reading for all studying racial violence in the South. . . . Wood is admirably balanced in assessing her evidence and placing it in perspective. . . . In evidence, argument, context, and writing, this is an impressive study that will inspire future scholarship and will offer teachers a rich set of contexts to enliven their discussions of race in the era of lynching."
-American Historical Review
"Wood succeeds admirably. . . . One of the most enlightening studies of lynching produced in recent years."
-Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies
"Wood deserves praise for synthesizing the expansive body of scholarship on lynching while offering an insightful cultural analysis of southern white sadism."
-North Carolina Historical Review
"This insightful exploration of lynching's cultural power is a groundbreaking addition to a growing body of scholarship focused on racial violence. . . . Essential."