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The Lyncher in Me: A Search for Redemption in the Face of History Hardcover – March 15, 2008


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Frequently Bought Together

The Lyncher in Me: A Search for Redemption in the Face of History + Imagery of Lynching: Black Men, White Women, and the Mob + Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940 (New Directions in Southern Studies)
Price for all three: $74.49

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Borealis Books; 1 edition (March 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873516079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873516075
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #964,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Besides reading, writing and appreciating great films, Warren Read is a huge traveler. In the past 16 years, he's explored Southeast Asia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Russia, France, Germany, Guatemala and Belize. In the summer of 2009, he and his partner Shayne trekked through Morocco and in the summer of 2010, they backpacked through south central China with their eldest 17 year-old son.

Warren teaches 4th grade on Bainbridge Island, Washington and is currently working toward his MFA in creative writing through the Rainier Writing Workshop, via Pacific Lutheran University. He lives in nearby Kingston with his landscape designer and "plant nut" partner, and their three wild, organically-grown sons.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
I look forward to his next venture!
everett reader
The criticism that Read is "self-congratulatory" or "preachy" is absurd.
twincitycindy
All in all a great civics lesson and a great read.
Mary R. McManus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By twincitycindy on April 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Lynchings of black Americans was a form of terrorism that existed too commonly in our country years ago. It's a legacy that still has a hold on society today and anyone who doesn't see that is fooling themselves. Read looks at the idea that the tendency to create violence--in society, within our families--is a reality that most of us could relate to. The writing in "The Lyncher in Me" is poetic and evokes stark images of dysfuntion, violence and, ultimately, redemption. The criticism that Read is "self-congratulatory" or "preachy" is absurd. I was able to hear him speak at a reading and from what I gathered upon meeting him, nothing could be further from the truth. He might be proud of what he's done, but after having heard and read about his experience, I think he's earned that right. He not only shoulders the task of trying to make amends for his family's role in the lychings, he goes above and beyond to try and put out a story for one of the victims.

The final third of the book really delves vividly into the story of Elmer Jackson (one of the men lynched--Read wasn't able to find any leads on the other two men). It's clear in reading this portion that Read has taken great pains to meticulously research and reconstruct this man's life and history, including all things related to him. It's fascinating and impressive. I'm not sure that I would have the tenacity and determination to stick with something so daunting (especially since Read apparently is not only a writer, but a school teacher and a father to three growing boys).

For those of us who come from family violence, it's a wonderful lesson in coming to terms with the humanness of those ugly parts of our family that we too often like to pretend are buried and forgotten. A beautifully written book, highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary R. McManus on June 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In The Lyncher in Me, Warren Read holds himself accountable for his family's involvement in the Duluth lynching with grace, humor and unflinching insight into his own personal story as well as that of his family. It was incredibly brave of him to stand before those families at the memorial unveiling and serve himself up as a responsible party. It was important for him to say to those families of the murdered men, "I know what happened and I won't let you be forgotten". Pretty courageous considering the arguably tangential relationship he shared with the victims. Read's use of the garden metaphor flowed effortlessly throughout the book and served his readers well as a way of taking an emotional break from the heavy issues of racism and civil rights. I especially enjoyed his personal journey that unfolded throughout The Lyncher in Me and his willingness to share even the darkest corners of his childhood. All in all a great civics lesson and a great read. Read's writing is spare, unguarded and wholly engaging. I can't wait for his next book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harlan McCabe on April 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is an unusual book in that it's both a memoir and an interesting look at American history. Read manages to retell an event in compelling "true crime" fasion while laying the possible effects that event had on his family in the traditional "family dysfunction" memoir style. The fact that he seeks out the family of the victims for a kind of reconcilation might puzzle some people, but I thought it was a pretty amazing thing to do and the perfect ending to a powerful story. I thought the connection to Fred Phelps in Topeka was a timely reminder of intolerance today(I've been in Topeka and that family is out in the streets constantly, so the author very likely did see them). There were moments that struck me as "preachy" but maybe that was just my interpretation. This is a different kind of book--a real story where the author does more than just "tell", he dissects and reflects on his experience, so the reader needs to be prepared be more than just an observer of someone else's life. I didn't realize the lingering effects of this book until well after I put it down. A strong companion to other books written for this genre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By everett reader on August 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I completed Warren Read's second book, Rodney's Mother, this time a collection of fiction short stories and really liked it very much. Read has the ability to draw a vivid picture and brings readers into the story. I would very much like to see a couple of these stories be developed into full length novels. I look forward to his next venture!
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