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One Night of Madness Paperback – November 11, 2009
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Taken from the front pages of newpapers long forgotten, this is a story, which as Stokes explains, "Must be told." Exceptionally well written and easy to read; don't miss the drama of "One Night of Madness". This is a must read for history buffs and anyone who enjoys a great story with unforgettable characters.
McMillan has written a meticulously researched book chronicling the heinous murder of three black children in rural Mississippi by three white racists in the winter of 1950.
The book is in the style of a non-fiction novel like Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood", and the story is told with a sensitivity for the people that reminded me of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird". The many characters leap from the pages and bring to life a part of Mississippi history that many would like to ignore, and some would even deny ever happened.
The interaction of the characters, the unfolding of the tragic events leading up to the murders, and the capture and trial of the murderers are skillfully described. After introducing us to the main players in Part 1 McMillan writes in his introduction to Part 2:
"Fate is a weaver. With the world her loom and eternity her timetable, she is emotionless in creating the intricate fabric of our lives. Drawing from her lap the colorful threads that are people's flesh and souls, the masterful embroiderer interlaces them into a living tapestry of the human condition - awash with infinitely contrasting shades and qualities. Individual threads may fray with time, but the story told in their warp and weft endures as memory.
` After decades of patient preparation, as an otherwise unexceptional winter approached, Fate began weaving the threads of a new creation, a tapestry of select filaments of peace and conflict, joy and sorrow, prosperity and poverty, black and white, skillfully woven.Read more ›
Much of the story is distressing to read. The main characters are sharecroppers, moonshiners, good-old-boys and low-lifes, but the way McMillan goes into their histories like a good novelist produces a sense of inevitability about the crime and the outcome. Central is Leon Turner, a charming and dangerous moonshiner who often had black men merchandizing his liquor. In 1949, he was joined by was joined by the brothers Malcolm and Windol Whitt, who came by chance from out of town. All got liquored up, and Turner led the brothers to the house of a black sharecropper and highway worker, Thomas Harris. Harris had sold moonshine for Turner before, but this time Turner went for drunken malice and an attempt to rape McMillan's wife.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book sent shivers up my spine! Before reading this book, I was unaware of this tragedy. It is well-written and an easy read--a book that you hate to put down and can't wait... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Harry Hunt
I do not agree with the way my father was portrayed involving him in a shooting incident, but other wise I liked the book.Published 7 months ago by Elwin C. Hall
The book is well written and while exceptionally sad, it was a compelling read. With the recent coldblooded murders committed in Columbia South Carolina, in the name of white... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
Must read for anyone in High School. This book should be required reading for Mississippi History classes and should be for all civil rights studies.Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
A good read. Holds your attention the entire time, no dull or dry sections. It was a glimpse into a very sad piece of hjstory.Published on June 2, 2014 by Melissa L. McKinney
The chain of events and racial attitudes that led to "One Night of Madness" happened in Attala County, not far from where I grew up (Yazoo County) during that same time... Read morePublished on February 24, 2014 by Gene Harlan Powell
Mr. McMillen is a captivating writer. He told an emotional story without pulling on the heart strings as he didn't have to pull them, the story it does by itself. Read morePublished on February 12, 2014 by Amazon Mom
In this age of TRU-TV,Newtown and reality TV, I felt immune to shock over violence. One Night of Madness challenged that belief precisely because it is not sensationalized. Read morePublished on August 6, 2013 by J Martin Jellinek