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Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America Hardcover – February 1, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
Thanks for the birthday present I suggested, the book "Without Sanctuary," published last month. It arrived yesterday and I sat down and read it from cover to cover. The book is horrifying, fascinating and chastening. You might think it a strange or grotesque request from me. Its not, and I feel compelled to write a little "book report" to show how much I appreciate it.
If you did not know, the book contains photographs and several essays which document the practice of lynching in America, which reached its peak from 1890 through 1930. The victims, three-quarters of them black, were people you might be afraid of just because of the way they looked. We can all identify with that fear. If we had photographs from the Inquisition or a thousand other atrocities they would look much the same. You can always spot the victims in the photographs, but you cannot tell the perpetrators from the bystanders. This particular behavior, lynching, did not take place far away or long ago; that it is so contemporaneous makes it so excruciating. Looking at these pictures, which were taken during the years my grandparents and great-grandparents were in their prime, makes it difficult to view the events as extraordinary. This is America, these are people I could have met in church when I was young. These are people my parents and grandparents must have KNOWN, some of them anyway. I don't think my grandparents would have participated in such events, but I don't really know and they certainly would not have mentioned it to me. The bulk of the terror took place in the South, but the photographs show mob killings everywhere, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, Texas, Indiana, California, everywhere.Read more ›
Lynching became America's national pastime after the Civil War, at least in the South. From the 1880s to the 1930s the US averaged over 100 lynchings a year, mostly in the South, over 75% of the victims were black.
This book brings a powerful light to a dark dirty corner of the American experience and psyche. This book is savage, gut-wrenching, and profoundly and deeply disturbing. The photos bear witness to monstrous crimes against humanity. The charred and mutilated bodies of the dead are shocking, and the depraved lust-filled feral faces of the lynch mobs are truly disgusting.
The oppression of slavery gave way to the viciousness and animalism of Jim Crow, and for 100 years the "vicious racists" (as Dr. King called them) ruled supreme in the southern USA, as evil in their stupidity and cowardly fear as the Nazis of Germany were in their arrogance and megalomania.
There are Holocaust deniers. Here in the US we have slavery and Jim Crow deniers, and racism deniers. This book and these awful pictures certainly do not support the happy mythology of the Lost Cause or the "New South"; nor the myth of color-blind justice in the USA. The evil on these pages is the evil one imagines in a pack of wild rabid dogs - savage, arbitrary, unspeakably cruel.
This book is a powerful dose of anti-denial. Most people know what slavery was really about, and have an idea about lynching. But just seeing the "strange fruit of southern trees" is like Eve eating the apple in Eden.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pictures are GRAPHIC!!!!! But it depicts the atrocities committed against blacks. A tool needed to be shown in history classes so the past isn't repeatedPublished 2 months ago by Tamrock
The book was a little warped, the actually title on the cloth of the book is barely visible from a shelf view and the photos were not as clear as I would have liked them to be for... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Stephanie Johnson
This book is what I expected. Very graphic pictures tell the true history of lynching in the United States.Published 6 months ago by Marsha Rhodes-Means
Heart Wrenching photos Gives you some appreciation of the ugliness of lynching.Published 7 months ago by Wesley Horton