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A Time of Terror: A Survivor's Story

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0933121447
ISBN-10: 093312144X
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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This forceful and absorbing tale sweeps the reader through a wide range of emotions. The narrative is at once thrilling and unnerving-and interspersed with humor and philosophical reflections on humanity's predicament. For incisive insights into the viciousness of white racism under Jim Crow-and the depths of the human spirit required to resist it, look no further. Cameron's memoir is an inspired meditation on individual human endeavor, comparable to the trials and tribulations of Richard Wright's Bigger Thomas, but with an uplifting ending." - Dr. Stephen Small, African American Studies, University of California-Berkeley, author of Living History: The Legacy of Slavery in the Netherlands "Though James Cameron himself has passed, his story and its importance to America live on through his powerful words in A Time of Terror. This book and the history it recalls are vital reminders to us all, not only of the tragic national past, but the ongoing present reality of how racial injustice can poison the minds, hearts and institutions of a culture." - Tim Wise, antiracism educator and author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son "While quiet in demeanor with a playful spirit, James Cameron was a force of nature and an unrelenting champion for civil rights. He overcame anger and hate as a young man, then dedicated his life to preserving and sharing African American history, eradicating racism and fulfilling the promise of America." -The Honorable Gwen S. Moore, United States Congress, Wisconsin 4th District --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Dr. James Cameron (1914-2006) founded America's Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and published dozens of essays on American history, politics, and culture.

James W. "Jim" Loewen (born February 6, 1942) is an American sociologist, historian, and author, best known for his 1995 book, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. Loewen was born and raised in Decatur, Illinois. He attended Carleton College. In 1963, as a junior, he spent a semester in Mississippi, an experience in a different culture that led to his questioning what he had been taught about United States history. He was intrigued by learning about the unique place of nineteenth-century Chinese immigrants and their descendants in Mississippi culture, commonly thought of as biracial. Loewen went on to earn a PhD in sociology from Harvard University based on his research on Chinese Americans in Mississippi. Loewen first taught in Mississippi at Tougaloo College, a historically black college founded by the American Missionary Association after the American Civil War. For twenty years, Loewen taught about racism at the University of Vermont. Since 1997, he has been a Visiting Professor of Sociology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Loewen spent two years at the Smithsonian Institution, where he studied and compared twelve American history textbooks then widely used throughout the United States. He published his findings in Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (1995). He concluded that textbook authors propagate factually false, Eurocentric, and mythologized views of history. The New Press in March 2012 listed Lies My Teacher Told Me as their top all-time bestseller. He believes that history should not be taught as straightforward facts and dates to memorize, but rather analysis of the context and root causes of events. Loewen recommends that teachers use two textbooks, so that students may realize the contradictions and ask questions, such as, "Why do the authors present the material like this?" Loewen points out that many of the distortions found in American History texts are "not even by the authors whose names grace the cover."

Dr. Fran Kaplan serves as coordinator of the America's Black Holocaust virtual Museum. She has been an educator, social worker, writer, and racial justice activist for nearly five decades. Fran has created and run nonprofit and for profit organizations that address issues from women's health and farmworker rights to nurturing parenting, early childhood education, and peace-building. Fran is also a published writer and the producer of award-winning short and feature films. Her co-authored screenplay, Fruit of the Tree, about the life of James Cameron has won awards in national and regional competitions. The international trainer-consultant for a global parenting education program, Fran authored and co-produced its Spanish-language videos, books, and games. With Dr. Robert Smith, Dr. Kaplan curated and edited Lynching: An American Folkway, a digital transmedia anthology distributed by Biblioboard, Inc. to libraries across the country. Fran has been recognized by various organizations in Milwaukee and Wisconsin for promoting racial justice and providing leadership in children's and human rights. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Black Classic Pr (December 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 093312144X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0933121447
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this book after reading the recent photo-book onlynching, _Without Sanctuary_, and viewing its website, ( ) That bookis a rape of the eye, with its massed imagery of communal murder. This book _A Time of Terror_ is a detailed first-hand account of one such crime. The author, as a sixteen year old boy, was arrested for rape and robbery. By his account, he was no more than an unwilling accessory, a wild kid just starting to go wrong. His companions were soon arrested, and one horrible night the white citizenry broke into the prison and lynched them. Cameron was beaten, strung up, and just about to be killed, when he heard a lady's voice commanding the crowd to release him. No one else heard anything like that, but the mob did indeed cut him down and help him back into the prison. This miraculous rescue helped turn him to Christ years later, once he was out of prison.
This narrative is very valuable for the flesh and blood details it provides to the era of lynching. Cameron records his terror at seeing familiar white faces, people he had cut grass and run errands for, howling for his blood. The lynching was not sudden--people moved into town days beforehand, and news of the impending atrocity was even broadcast on the radio. Firemen sent in to disperse the crowd with water spray instead invited the mob to come aboard the trucks and cut the hoses. Cameron tried to hide among other black prisoners, but the mob threatened to hang them all, causing them to finally give him up. Possibly most horrible of all, these events took place not in the South, but in Marion, Indiana.
Cameron faithfully tells his tale seemingly without embarrassment or residual hatred. His father was worthless. He and his friends were indeed up to no good the night they were arrested.
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Format: Paperback
This book is not to be missed! James Cameron's retelling of his lynching is told with true artistry. Cameron seems to have a knack for knowing when his work is finished, when a sentence more or a sentence less would ruin the work. This is one that will stay with you for years!
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Format: Paperback
I feel this is a title all Americans should read and make their children aware of the bad things that have happened to African American in the past. We also need to remember that even though there is affirmative action, we still are all not considered EQUAL to man.
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Format: Paperback
A Time of Terror tells an important story. It recounts historically significant events from a personal perspective that brings much-needed nuance and emotion to our understanding of history. The introductory material adds strength to this narrative by providing context that we rarely learn or discuss. The new introduction is well written, easy to read, and worth the time.

I was particularly struck by my own ignorance about some of the specific racially discriminatory and violent practices that were common in the history of northern states. As citizens of northern states, many of us have bought into a lie that we have a right to feel morally superior because we aren’t guilty of the atrocities common in the south, when in fact we are just as guilty. Understanding our true historical legacy is a necessary first step to acknowledging our current challenges and building solutions. I believe that wide readership of this book can help us do that.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This retelling of an unthinkable mob violence event was absolutely riveting. It is one of the only nonfiction books I have ever read that I could not put down. James Cameron, rest in peace knowing you have told your story to enlighten us all for posterity.
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I thought this book was very good and was written well. It tells the story of a man, MY UNCLE, and his experience with the terrible mob that also killed him. I recommend this to everyone!!!
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