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Terror in the Night: The Klan's Campaign Against the Jews Hardcover – January 20, 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (January 20, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671692232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671692230
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ku Klux Klansmen, claiming that Jews were the driving force behind the civil rights movement, bombed two synagogues and a rabbi's house in Jackson and in Meridian, Miss., in 1967-68. A Klan hit list targeted Jewish business leaders for assassination. Nelson, Los Angeles Times Washington bureau chief who covered the South in the civil rights era, discovered evidence that the FBI and the Meridian police, using funds supplied by the Jewish community, paid informants to set a trap that left Klan hit man Thomas Tarrants III wounded and his fanatically anti-Semitic bomb-maker girlfriend Kathy Ainsworth dead. This absorbing true-crime tale is a time capsule to the civil rights movement's heyday. Using FBI files obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Nelson recreates the case and illuminates the FBI's long vendetta against him for his reportage. Photos. Jewish Book Club alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This often gripping journalistic account of appeasement and retribution in 1960s Mississippi has three parts. The first is the story of how the assimilated Jewish communities of Jackson and Meridian, Mississippi, which had resisted opposing segregation and racial violence, were drawn into the struggle against the Ku Klux Klan when they too became targets of attacks. The leaders of those communities then experienced the poetic justice of being unable to enlist fellow citizens, cautious appeasers, in the fight. The second part is the story of the response of the FBI and the local police, with the cooperation of the Jewish community leaders--retribution that ultimately overstepped the limits of legality. Of particular interest is Nelson's detailed account of how the FBI bullied two leading Klansmen into cooperating. The last and least interesting part is Nelson's recitation of the personal and professional risks he took in uncovering the story of the retribution. Recommended for history collections.
- Timothy Christenfeld, Columbia Univ.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rainmakr56 on January 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read this book after learning of a friend of mine who grew up Jewish in Jackson Mississippi and went through everything Nelson talks about. The book was incredibly written and Nelson is a phenomonal Journalist. I highly recomend this book to anyone looking to learn more about American history or history of Jews in the South.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence M. Yoder on October 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
TERROR IN THE NIGHT carried me back into the earlier life of a man who later became my student. I had known about his earlier life in sketchy outlines, but this 20 year old book by master reporter Jack Nelson drew me back into the late sixties when I myself was a seminary student and traveled with fellow students to Atlanta to the funeral of the larger than life figure of Martin Luther King Jr. But the murder of King was an outcropping of the very deep and pervasive racial hatred and Klan violence against blacks and Jews all across the South. As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of these events it is important for us to re-read and remember the terrors some of us have lived through, whether as victims or perpetrators. My former student is now a very different man.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By kristina on May 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
I had to read this for school. I thought it would be horribly boring, but it was excellent.
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By Bill48 on February 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Terror in the Night met all my expectations. Live in MS and remember these well covered events. I know some of the still living players in this book as well as two of the now deceased MPD members. Well written by Mr. Nelson.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you weren't alive then, you probably don't remember that the Klan not only hated Jews, but bombed their homes and places of worship.

Nelson tells this story, but also tells how at least one of the Klansmen either was entrapped or very nearly entrapped by a law enforcement operation. Is bribery and so on ok to catch someone this loathesome who would probably have carried out another bombing anyway if not led on by police? Would you think the same thing if you agreed with the bomber's cause?

Read this - it is informative, scary, and fascinating. And make your own judgement about the cases, and the people involved on all sides of it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr. Nelson clearly details an important chapter in the history of the United States of America. The books points out the need be vigilant with regards of the human (civil) rights of others even we personally are not immediately involved.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By nina on December 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very much enjoyed this book about little known incidents against the Jewish community during the civil rights struggle. Would strongly recommend to anyone who enjoys good historical reading and a great story teller.
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