- Hardcover: 424 pages
- Publisher: Chicago Review Press (November 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1556527659
- ISBN-13: 978-1556527654
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,247,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther Hardcover – November 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
On December 4, 1969, Fred Hampton, the 21-year-old chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, was shot dead in his bed during a police raid. Hass and his law partner, Flint Taylor of the perpetually underfunded People's Law Office, spent the next decade fighting a well-financed opposition team and a hostile judge to prove that Hampton had been shot not in self-defense, as the police advocates claimed, but as the result of an FBI assassination The dramatic David and Goliath struggle embodies many of the era's fiercest debates, but Haas lacks the skill to transmute his experience into compelling reading. The prose is studded with clichés, and nearly every physical description reads like a checklist: age, size, build, skin color and length of Afro. Hass strays from the narrative to relate irrelevant information about his personal life, as when he recollects that his third wife first captured his attention when she propped her red, calf-length boots on his desk. The book is most engaging when Hass offers a straightforward account of the legal process, a testament to the power of the story—not the author's proficiency. (Nov.)
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"A riveting account of the assassination, the plot behind it, the attempted cover-up, the denouement, and the lessons that we should draw from this shocking tale of government iniquity." Noam Chomsky, author and political activist
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Top Customer Reviews
Buy this book, read it and learn what they didn't want to teach you in school.
The author of book examines his murder and all of the behind the scene controversy on" What took place " in the police raid in Chicago. There were definetly two sides to what took place, but many people surrounding the police raid were caught in mis representing the " Facts" of the shoot out. In the end many were caugt in lies in what actually took place as the courts forced them to tell the truth.
This case took many years to come to a conclusion and settlement. It still leaves many readers and people that lived in the era to take sides.
The author ( Lawyer) makes the case it was a government cover up. This case went to a higher court to get some resolve. The lower courts put too many roadblocks and were one sided. The lawyers never gave up on how Fred was murdered. They wanted resolve and to have those held accountable for this murder. They stuck with it all the way up through the court system.
If you want to learn more about this leader who was lost at such a young age, this book will educate you on the movement along with the message to the people . During this era the term " Power to the people" came out the moths in all back grounds and color of people .
Great book on The civil rights movement . Which are all of our rights.
This is far and away the most thorough and powerful autobiographical account of life during the fight for African-American Civil Rights since The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The author, Jeffery Haas, was one of the lead prosecutors in the case against the government after Hampton's assassination in 1969, a moment that in many ways ended the black nationalist movement. Having lived through the events, he writes with a passion that is second-to-none, and makes the complexities of a series of trials that stretched on well past a decade simple to digest.
Haas weaves a gripping and moving narrative about the months leading up to the assassination and then the years of trial that would follow, he challenges John Grisham in terms of making you engaged, frustrated, and spellbound with courtroom events.
If you any interest at all about the struggle for Civil Rights, you absolutely must read this book.
To learn more about how the War on Drugs has impacted the African-American community, check out Tremble the Devil: "the story of terrorism as Jesus Christ, James Bond, and Osama bin Ladin would tell it."
When the discussion of assassinations comes up the main names mentioned are JFK, MLK, and Malcolm X. Sadly, there were many more, better disguised assassinations that happened during the 60's that lots of people have never heard of. Fred Hampton was one of them. Although Fred Hampton's murder caused outrage amongst some in Chicago, it didn't register as largely on the national scale.
Not only did this story need to be told, it needed to be told by someone connected to it who could provide information not readily available. The author, Jeffrey Haas, was the main attorney going after the State Attorney, Hanrahan and the Chicago PD after the fateful morning of December 4, 1969. When he failed to get an indictment he then proceeded to present a civil rights suit against the city of Chicago, Cook County and the FBI. He doggedly pursued to reveal the slaying and the subsequent cover up for 13 years. While reading this book I only paused to catch my breath or to calm down from the fury and anger I had towards the FBI, the Chicago PD, the State Attorney, Judge Perry and the lap dog attorneys representing the perpetrators. This book will elicit strong emotions if you have any kind of passion for justice.
Jeffery Haas tells this story in the simplest and truest form. This book wouldn't be confused with an Edgar Allen Poe piece known for literary genius but it was compelling none the less. There is little biographical information about Fred Hampton as he was killed at the young age of 21. I would say that there is more biographical information about Jeffrey Haas than Fred Hampton yet it doesn't detract from the story at all.
I couldn't help but notice parallels between this story and that of Geronimo Pratt. Both were Black Panther Party leaders, both wronged, FBI involvement, local law enforcement involvement, massive cover up, pit bull like Jewish lawyers dedicating years to right the wrong. If anyone has read "Last Man Standing" then the similarities are eery. In fact, Geronimo Pratt's and Fred Hampton's families are from Louisiana as well.
I'm so glad this book was written and I'm equally pleased that I got a chance to read it. Whether you liked the Black Panther Party or not, whether you agreed with their rhetoric or not, murder is murder and then to lie and cover it up is almost just as abhorrent. This book was an excellent account, it would have been so nice to see what Fred Hampton could have become.