Wilmington's Lie
From Pulitzer Prize winner, David Zucchino, comes a searing account of the Wilmington riot and coup of 1898, an extraordinary event unknown to most Americans.By the 1890s, Wilmington was North Carolina's largest city and a shining example of a mixed-race community. It was a bustling port city with a burgeoning African American middle class and a Fusionist government of Republicans and Populists that included black aldermen, police officers and magistrates. There were successful black-owned businesses and an African American newspaper, The Record. But across the state--and the South--white supremacist Democrats were working to reverse the advances made by former slaves and their progeny.In 1898, in response to a speech calling for white men to rise to the defense of Southern womanhood against the supposed threat of black predators, Alexander Manly, the outspoken young Record editor, wrote that some relationships between black men and white women were consensual. His editorial ignited outrage across the South, with calls to lynch Manly.But North Carolina's white supremacist Democrats had a different strategy. They were plotting to take back the state legislature in November "by the ballot or bullet or both," and then use the Manly editorial to trigger a "race riot" to overthrow Wilmington's multi-racial government. Led by prominent citizens including Josephus Daniels, publisher of the state's largest newspaper, and former Confederate Colonel Alfred Moore Waddell, white supremacists rolled out a carefully orchestrated campaign that included raucous rallies, race-baiting editorials and newspaper cartoons, and sensational, fabricated news stories.With intimidation and violence, the Democrats suppressed the black vote and stuffed ballot boxes (or threw them out), to win control of the state legislature on November eighth. Two days later, more than 2,000 heavily armed Red Shirts swarmed through Wilmington, torching the Record office, terrorizing women and children, and shooting at least sixty black men dead in the streets. The rioters forced city officials to resign at gunpoint and replaced them with mob leaders. Prominent blacks--and sympathetic whites--were banished. Hundreds of terrified black families took refuge in surrounding swamps and forests.This brutal insurrection is a rare instance of a violent overthrow of an elected government in the U.S. It halted gains made by blacks and restored racism as official government policy, cementing white rule for another half century. It was not a "race riot," as the events of November 1898 came to be known, but rather a racially motivated rebellion launched by white supremacists.In Wilmington's Lie, Zucchino uses contemporary newspaper accounts, diaries, letters and official communications to create a gripping and compelling narrative that weaves together individual stories of hate and fear and brutality. This is a dramatic and definitive account of a remarkable but forgotten chapter of American history.

Wilmington's Lie Details

TitleWilmington's Lie
Author
ReleaseJan 7th, 2020
PublisherAtlantic Monthly Press
ISBN-139780802128386
Rating
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Politics, Mystery, Crime, Race, North American Hi..., American History, True Crime

Wilmington's Lie Review

  • Raymond
    January 1, 1970
    I first learned of the Wilmington Coup of 1898 when I wrote an English paper on the topic in undergrad. I developed a mild obsession with this historical event because I'm a NC native who grew up in a town 100 miles away from Wilmington and was never taught about the coup in public school. After writing the paper, I read two great novels based on the coup: The Marrow of Tradition by Charles Chesnutt and Cape Fear Rising by Philip Gerard. Wilmington's Lie is the first full length nonfiction I first learned of the Wilmington Coup of 1898 when I wrote an English paper on the topic in undergrad. I developed a mild obsession with this historical event because I'm a NC native who grew up in a town 100 miles away from Wilmington and was never taught about the coup in public school. After writing the paper, I read two great novels based on the coup: The Marrow of Tradition by Charles Chesnutt and Cape Fear Rising by Philip Gerard. Wilmington's Lie is the first full length nonfiction treatment that I have read.Zucchino's book does not just tell the story of the coup in 1898 but it also chronicles the rise of white supremacy in North Carolina after Reconstruction and in other Southern states. Zucchino effectively shows that the Alex Manly editorial was not the pivotal event that led to the coup. As you will learn in this book the coup was just one part of a concerted effort, a conspiracy, by racist White Democrats to take power away from the Fusion movement of White and Black Populists/Republicans. Propaganda, racist speeches, voter intimidation, and ballot stuffing were all a part of the campaign leading up to the coup.Zucchino's work uses a variety of sources to tell this story. One of the most effective is his use of contemporary news articles not just from the local papers but national papers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. This national coverage of the event struck me. Zucchino shows how the initial coverage was inaccurate because most of the sources were from the white supremacists who took over the government in Wilmington. On top of that he uncovers the myth-making that took place for a century until a commission's report revealed the truth. Lastly, the author makes a convincing connection between the voter disenfranchisement of yesteryear to the current disenfranchisement of today. The only big difference, that I don't think the author acknowledges, is the violence that was used back then is not being used now. Wilmington's Lie is definitely a must read book especially if you are unfamiliar with the events and want to know more about the first and only coup in the United States.Thanks to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for the free ARC copy in exchange for a honest review.This review is also on Medium: https://medium.com/ballasts-for-the-m...
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    They didn't want mediation. They didn't want arbitration. They didn't want compromise. They did not value understanding. They showed up armed to peaceful opposition protests and menaced the people that they disagreed with. They publicly embraced law and order until law and order became an obstacle to achieving their ends. They manufactured outrage on the flimsiest pretexts. They repeated and reprinted lies and innuendo to whip up outrage. They publicly stated that they would pursue their ends by They didn't want mediation. They didn't want arbitration. They didn't want compromise. They did not value understanding. They showed up armed to peaceful opposition protests and menaced the people that they disagreed with. They publicly embraced law and order until law and order became an obstacle to achieving their ends. They manufactured outrage on the flimsiest pretexts. They repeated and reprinted lies and innuendo to whip up outrage. They publicly stated that they would pursue their ends by fraud and violence if legal methods did not work.They supported the formation of lawless mobs, and then pleaded ignorance when mob violence went out of control.They were the white supremacists of 1898 in Wilmington, North Carolina. The story of the race riot and successful electoral coup in Wilmington has been told before. This new history comes with the awareness that white supremacists are at it again in our time. In the light of this, the book does not make for cheerful reading, as the perpetrators of all outrages portrayed in this book achieved the political ends they wished and none were ever even brought anywhere close to justice. As for their victims, the lucky ones escaped with the clothes they stood up in and made it to other destinations that, while certainly not free of racism, were at least away from the drunken mob seeking to set fire to their homes and shoot their families.I write this months before the book's scheduled release date, so the trolls and apologists for racism have not yet arrived to pollute this page on Goodreads. Enjoy it while you can – they are on their way. You will know them as they deploy phrases like “so-called white supremacists”, as they accuse the author of fomenting divisiveness for personal and political gain, as they attempt to link this book to present-day media personalities and political agendas that they disagree with.The plain fact of 1898 Wilmington is that people attempted to peacefully exercise the rights that the law allowed them, and for their trouble a mob of racists killed them or ruined their lives. Still today, an apology without reservation or excuses is apparently too much to ask. It was a shameful episode then and continues to be shameful today. Don't forget it. Read about it.Thank you to Netgalley and Atlantic Monthly Press for a free advance egalley copy of this book for review.
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  • George1st
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a powerful and moving examination of a deeply significant but disturbing episode in African American history that it was at times quite painful and difficult to read. To understand the present you need to have an appreciation of the past and this majestic, scholarly but always accessible account of the reasons and motivations of what was in effect a white supremacist armed and illegal seizure of power will undoubtedly help.In 1898 Wilmington, North Carolina, was one of the most This is such a powerful and moving examination of a deeply significant but disturbing episode in African American history that it was at times quite painful and difficult to read. To understand the present you need to have an appreciation of the past and this majestic, scholarly but always accessible account of the reasons and motivations of what was in effect a white supremacist armed and illegal seizure of power will undoubtedly help.In 1898 Wilmington, North Carolina, was one of the most advanced (however limited) cities in the old Confederate South in terms of African American representation in civic society. They were represented in local law enforcement, the judiciary, the legislature, the fire department and commerce with a vibrant and expanding middle class. Although segregation was in existence it was was far less onerous than elsewhere in the South. However this situation was an anathema to the white supremacists who's views had remained unchanged since the Civil War and were much in evidence in the of the higher echelons of society. Following their victory in the November 1898 mid-term elections by intimidation and ballot rigging the scene was set for them to go onto the streets two days later and embark on a day of killing and ethnic cleansing. This would result in at least sixty innocent African American dead and hundreds more fleeing the city some never to return. Things would never be the same again and white supremacy would be cemented later through African American disenfranchisement through changes in the system of voter registration (sound familiar) that would be copied throughout the South. Personally there were several shocking things that I found in this narrative which included the fact that the white night riders known as Red Shirts would be assisted later on that fateful day by the local state militiamen who were supposed to be the upholders of law and order. Also the lack of action and the later reluctance of the Federal Government to take any action. Similarly the virulent racist propaganda of the local press owned by white supremacists could have been expected but the way the supremacists version of events and narrative was unquestioningly accepted by supposedly reputable journals such as the New York Times was not. The book is extensively researched with quotations from the local press, publications and speeches made at the time. There are also present day interviews with the surviving relatives of some of the key players. In 1998 to mark the anniversary of the killings and after the previous accepted narrative that this was a black uprising or a race riot were challenged and demolished attempts were made at some kind of reconciliation but this proved far from successful. The scars are still there and the issue of Confederate statues and the flag is subject of deep controversy. One thing is clear, the whole issue of race in modern America needs to be handled by all in civic society with much care and sensitivity and on no account should race be used for electoral advantage. (good luck with that one). I'm not an American but have always had a deep interest in its history, politics and culture and this book I would hope will find its way into many libraries and places of education. If I ever visit the USA I would certainly like to visit Wilmington as it forms an integral part of the nation's history. A very recommended read.
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  • Tonstant Weader
    January 1, 1970
    Winston Churchill said, “History is written by the victors.” We in the United States know this is too simplistic. After all, the North won the Civil War and the South wrote the history with tales of happily enslaved people who loved their benevolent Scarletts and Melanies. They rewrote their war as a defense of federalism and limited government, not slavery. They erased their concerted domestic terrorism to drive Black people from the voting booth. Of course, if you consider white supremacy the Winston Churchill said, “History is written by the victors.” We in the United States know this is too simplistic. After all, the North won the Civil War and the South wrote the history with tales of happily enslaved people who loved their benevolent Scarletts and Melanies. They rewrote their war as a defense of federalism and limited government, not slavery. They erased their concerted domestic terrorism to drive Black people from the voting booth. Of course, if you consider white supremacy the victor, then Churchill’s words are right on point. Wilmington’s Lie is a valiant effort to uncover the truth behind the lies of the “victors.”Wilmington, North Carolina, after the Civil War drew many recently freed enslaved people who found work in factories, fields, and even in government. There were powerful and effective Black leaders such as Abraham Galloway, a man who escaped slavery but risked going back to the South to spy for the Union, who recruited thousands of Black soldiers for the Union Army, and who organized a Black militia that sent the Klan running from Wilmington, protecting the right of Black people to vote for a generation. By the 1890s, there were many prosperous Black people, lawyers, doctors, business owners, elected leaders, and even a sheriff’s deputy.That did not sit well with the white people of the state and the Democratic Party, developed a complex, multi-part strategy to take power back and called it the White Supremacy Campaign. That is what it was and included a media strategy of incitement in the newspapers, most notably the Raleigh News and Observer, a paper that continues to be a leading North Carolina paper to this day. It also included grassroots organizing with small cells meeting in people’s homes. There was a military component with militias including the Red Shirts, a terroristic paramilitary group. They were all focusing on blocking Black people from voting in the 1898 election.In the end, they staged a massacre and a political coup, killing around sixty Black men, driving the Black people of Wilmington from town, and forcing the existing mayor, sheriff, and city council to resign and appointing new leadership from among the conspirators. After the massacre was over they created the fiction that Black rioting led to the massacre, a lie that continued unchallenged for decades. This strategy was deployed throughout the South, successfully forcing out the Republicans and bringing the reign of terror and oppression called Jim Crow. Even in 1998, a hundred years after the massacre and more than thirty years after the Civil Rights Act, white people in Wilmington resisted telling the truth.I think Wilmington’s Lie is an important history and we must learn the truth of how Reconstruction was cut short, not because of the corruption, scalawags, and carpetbaggers, but because of domestic terrorism in pursuit of white supremacy. There are inspiring stories of heroes such as Galloway and Alex Manly whose editorial combatting the lie that Black men were rapists. He said that white women sometimes fell in love with Black men and white men sometimes raped Black women and other home truths that were like kerosene on a fire.However, sometimes the weight of detail overwhelmed the story. Zucchino goes through the events of the massacre and coup with step-by-step specificity. It reminded me of military histories that recount troop movements. I have never been drawn to military history for that very reason. While I understand that everything matters in a battle, I am content to know who carried the day. Sadly, white supremacy carried the day in Wilmington.I am glad that Zucchino did not end his narrative in 1898 and brought us to the present. When interviewing the grandson of Josephus Daniels who wrote the incendiary hatemongering articles in his News and Observer, Zucchino asked his what he thought of the state commission report that criticized the paper for its role in the massacre. He was a newspaper publisher and he never read it. One way to keep a lie alive is to avoid reading the truth.I received an e-galley of Wilmington’s Lie from the publisher through Edelweiss.Wilmington’s Lie at Grove AtlanticDavid Zucchino on Twitterhttps://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpre...
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  • J Earl
    January 1, 1970
    Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy is a thoroughly researched account of the organized mass murders and the subsequent effects of this illegal, immoral, and pure evil strategy.This book gives as detailed an account as possible of the events of the coup as well as the lies told before, during, and after the murder spree by the whites both in North Carolina and across the country, especially in the south. There will be some who find this to be part of Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy is a thoroughly researched account of the organized mass murders and the subsequent effects of this illegal, immoral, and pure evil strategy.This book gives as detailed an account as possible of the events of the coup as well as the lies told before, during, and after the murder spree by the whites both in North Carolina and across the country, especially in the south. There will be some who find this to be part of their "southern heritage," and to an extent they are right. Immorality and illegality are indeed among the largest portions of that heritage. There will even be reviewers, as one I have already seen, who misstate or intentionally misunderstands the difference between "being responsible for what my ancestors did" and in making amends for the benefits denied to those murdered (and their descendants) that have been unfairly given to them. If the white supremacists who committed this and the many other crimes, who wrote the bigoted and unconstitutional legislation that denied and/or took away rights and opportunities, had been prosecuted and spent the necessary time in prison and possibly received the death penalty, then today's self-righteous little "it isn't my fault" bigots would not have all of the benefits they now unjustifiably enjoy.This is a difficult book to read for a couple of reasons. First, the events and the inhumanity of those who committed and condoned these actions is appalling. Second, the fact that the basic playbook of the white supremacists of that period is being updated and used today in state legislatures as well as the executive branch of the federal government illustrates the extent to which those who can only achieve success through denying it to others will do whatever they have to do to continue that trend.Make no mistake, any reviewer who claims not to be responsible because it happened so long ago is trying to cover their own pathetic bigotry with such empty logic. They enjoy the fruits of those actions but they want none of the responsibility. That isn't justice, that is immoral inhumanity.I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the extent to which people will go to maintain power that they cannot maintain through merit. It was true then and, with the election of Trumpenfuehrer, it is true today.Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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  • Bob H
    January 1, 1970
    This is an important, well-researched and compelling account of the overthrow, by armed force, of a multiracial city government in Wilmington, NC, in November 1898. The author has placed this event in context: it followed years of racist pushback against black and white Republican and Republican-populist (Fusion) elected officials in eastern North Carolina, notably in the then-integrated city of Wilmington. White-supremacist newspapers in North Carolina, notably the Raleigh News & Observer, This is an important, well-researched and compelling account of the overthrow, by armed force, of a multiracial city government in Wilmington, NC, in November 1898. The author has placed this event in context: it followed years of racist pushback against black and white Republican and Republican-populist (Fusion) elected officials in eastern North Carolina, notably in the then-integrated city of Wilmington. White-supremacist newspapers in North Carolina, notably the Raleigh News & Observer, had agitated for years against black enfranchisement and civil rights, and night riders, first the KKK and later the Red Shirts, would enforce it, along with, we read here, local militias forming in the period of the Spanish-American war. Finally, in two days, an armed insurrection by white supremacists that would expel the mayor, sheriff, police chief and other officials, banish a number of prominent local black and white businessmen and civic leaders, chase hundreds of terrified black families out of the city and kill at least sixty black men.The author also shows how this event would strengthen Jim Crow type segregation and voter suppression in North Carolina, and later, by example, throughout the South in the following years. Indeed, he shows how racially-weighted voter suppression continued from 1898 up to this very day in North Carolina and elsewhere, and this insurrection is one way to understand its origins and depth.(Read in advance-reading copy via the Amazon Vine program).
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  • Nick
    January 1, 1970
    I received this as an ARC from the publisher.This is an excellent study of an often overlooked part of American history, the incident that kicked off the push by white Southerners to reverse the legal and social gains made by African Americans after the Civil War. The idea that a group of people would be able to use armed violence to reverse election results, and also to prevent a segment of the voting population from being heard from for 60 years, was horrific. The only weak part of the book I received this as an ARC from the publisher.This is an excellent study of an often overlooked part of American history, the incident that kicked off the push by white Southerners to reverse the legal and social gains made by African Americans after the Civil War. The idea that a group of people would be able to use armed violence to reverse election results, and also to prevent a segment of the voting population from being heard from for 60 years, was horrific. The only weak part of the book was the author's discussions with the descendants of the white supremacist leaders. What did he expect, that they would say horrible things about their grandparents? These were men of their times and of their own convictions, and their later families shouldn't be put on the spot to apologize for them, which is what it seemed like the author wanted to happen. That dragged the ending of the book out by a bit, as well as not providing anything new or interesting in terms of content.I was aware of only part of this story before reading the book, and the author's structure involved telling earlier parts of history interwoven with the late 1890s events that were the focus of the book. Usually I find that distracting, but in this case it helped me to understand the links between the people and the times and the context.
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  • Ionia
    January 1, 1970
    I have to admit, I'm actually a little embarrassed that I didn't know most of the events that this book relates before reading it. I'm now very glad that I read this book. These events are n important part of American history, although they are hard to digest and make you wonder about the senselessness of racism and the attitudes that sadly still appear in our modern society. This is a very well-written work that is not only interesting and factual but emotionally provoking as well. I found as I I have to admit, I'm actually a little embarrassed that I didn't know most of the events that this book relates before reading it. I'm now very glad that I read this book. These events are n important part of American history, although they are hard to digest and make you wonder about the senselessness of racism and the attitudes that sadly still appear in our modern society. This is a very well-written work that is not only interesting and factual but emotionally provoking as well. I found as I was reading this that it made me want to learn more, and also made me question how I had missed so much of this in my education, especially as someone who makes a living studying various forms of persecution. Now that this is on my radar, I am interested in learning more about it, and I can thank the author for that. This is an important book and should be read by all. I think it is important to know this history and to share the knowledge with others, to keep things like this from happening again. I thanks the author for doing such a lot of work to present this book in a manner that is accessible and readable for everyone, not just scholars. This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, provided through Netgalley, all opinions are my own.
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  • Laura Berman
    January 1, 1970
    Although I was a history major in college and studied Reconstruction in several courses, I knew nothing of the Wilmington uprising: an extraordinary "coup" undertaken by white supremacists to restore white control of Wilmington, N.C. by terrorizing the black community and banishing its leaders. David Zucchino, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, brings storytelling chops and a passion for historical accuracy to this horrifying episode of American history, but even an unadorned telling of this Although I was a history major in college and studied Reconstruction in several courses, I knew nothing of the Wilmington uprising: an extraordinary "coup" undertaken by white supremacists to restore white control of Wilmington, N.C. by terrorizing the black community and banishing its leaders. David Zucchino, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, brings storytelling chops and a passion for historical accuracy to this horrifying episode of American history, but even an unadorned telling of this story would shock and appall you. Without making overt reference to today's politically incendiary climate, Zucchino lets readers draw their own inferences about the insidious methodology of American white supremacists. This is an important book and one that fills in a vital historical gap at an opportune moment.
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  • Craig Pearson
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. This is one of the untold stories, known by the relative few, of the horrible legacy of racism in the US. The Civil War did not end the problems that slavery engendered. This is the story of race riots and the domination of Wilmington by whites who would not give up their percieved superiority over blacks. The characters are unfortunately not very well developed and the wroiting style is somewhat dry.
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  • Edward Sullivan
    January 1, 1970
    In this deeply researched, chilling account of white supremacist terrorism, Zucchino unravels decades of myth and propaganda to reveal the realities of the organized plot to completely destroy the black community of Wilmington, North Carolina, and its far-reaching, terrifying implications for the South's brutal Jim Crow era.
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  • Nathan
    January 1, 1970
    A riveting history of horrific events in Wilmington, NC on November 10th 1898.
  • Istoria Lit
    January 1, 1970
    Wilmington's Lie is a dense history book. So much info about historical figures I never knew existed. Had to Google a few things in American history as I'm new to it. Would recommend to non-fic lovers.
  • Julia Holloway
    January 1, 1970
    Disturbing. Fascinating. A must read.
  • Cynthia
    January 1, 1970
    I live in Wilmington and was of course drawn to a history of my new town. I had heard of this coup and knew it involved race, but it was so much more than a violent coup. Zucchino shows us how deliberate the planners of this coup were and the extraordinary lengths they would go to to ensure white rule in Wilmington for a long time. The author also hints at how this coup has contributed to certain strategies that are still being used today to disenfranchise African Americans. I think this is the I live in Wilmington and was of course drawn to a history of my new town. I had heard of this coup and knew it involved race, but it was so much more than a violent coup. Zucchino shows us how deliberate the planners of this coup were and the extraordinary lengths they would go to to ensure white rule in Wilmington for a long time. The author also hints at how this coup has contributed to certain strategies that are still being used today to disenfranchise African Americans. I think this is the most valuable part of studying history: seeing how it impacts our lives today.
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  • Kevin Carter
    January 1, 1970
    Although I lived in Wilmington for three years, I had only known a tiny bit about the years detailed in the book. It’s meticulously researched and well written. The details make history come alive. We can’t really know our present until we understand our past. The book helped me understand how all that ties together.
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  • Perry Ervin
    January 1, 1970
    27Dec2019Though just getting into the first chapters of the book, I am reminded of "Richmond's Unhealed History." Having grown up in NC in the window of chaos of the 1970s, it's easier for me to see the reality of the denials put forth by many who want to cloak their racism under the 'heritage' heading. Yet, as racism goes, a rose is a rose is a rose. I look forward to following this book and investigating its sources. I still find myself amazed at how far some white people will go to deny the 27Dec2019Though just getting into the first chapters of the book, I am reminded of "Richmond's Unhealed History." Having grown up in NC in the window of chaos of the 1970s, it's easier for me to see the reality of the denials put forth by many who want to cloak their racism under the 'heritage' heading. Yet, as racism goes, a rose is a rose is a rose. I look forward to following this book and investigating its sources. I still find myself amazed at how far some white people will go to deny the obvious. We're living it again in this present era and administration.
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  • Gwen - Chew & Digest Books -
    January 1, 1970
    I cannot think of a book that has ever made me want to crawl under the table with shame for being a white person and what my peers have done, past & present, described in this book as painfully as Wilmington's Lie. And let's make it clear, it's not the book or the writing, it's the facts and Zucchino's skill at just laying it all out without really sharing an obvious opinion or judgment of his own. I feel like giving a copy of this to everyone that I have even a wee inkling of bigotry, I cannot think of a book that has ever made me want to crawl under the table with shame for being a white person and what my peers have done, past & present, described in this book as painfully as Wilmington's Lie. And let's make it clear, it's not the book or the writing, it's the facts and Zucchino's skill at just laying it all out without really sharing an obvious opinion or judgment of his own. I feel like giving a copy of this to everyone that I have even a wee inkling of bigotry, prejudice, or plain racism and after they read it say, "This is what your behavior and attitude is based on. BS. You and people as wrong-headed as you have been spreading these lies since the start of America."The white citizens of the entire city of Wilmington, North Carolina and much of the South created and spread this idea of a mythical African American male as really a monster, an idiot, and a sexual predator. They bought the idea, lived by it, passed it on and added their own touches of negative sterotyping to cover each time period and events. Our leaders, even if they don't agree, have condoned it by their unwillingness to speak out, legislate or act on these false beliefs that have been making complete evil idiots of ourselves and keeping an entire race, at a minimum, one or two levels below us white folks. Those beliefs are false, a lie, a sick man's confabulation and utter BS. Right after getting this book yet prior to starting it, Wilmington again celebrated? Remembered? Solemnly recognized? and put up street sign commemorating the 1898 Massacre and bushel full of lies as a Coup. I had Zuccino's work in line to be read and remembered it as I closely followed the news stories. (for example https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/...)Without diving in, I knew the story and was so very angry and disappointed and it was far from the only example of utter idiocy and evil that we continue to perpetrate in the news just the last year or so. It needs to stop, many of us need a comeupance. I'd read it again, even cowering with embarrassment as well as hand sell it to anyone. You'd be a better human being if you did too. The secret is not to stop with reading about it, it's talking about it, calling out the racists, and acting upon humanistic motives, not fear and lies. We can do better, we need to.
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  • Daisy Dooley
    January 1, 1970
    Wilmington's Lie was a difficult and shaming book to read but also a brilliantly written and intensively researched history of the events that occurred in Wilmington, North Carolina, before, during and after the 1898 elections. Wilmington's white supremacists engineered a sustained and deliberate campaign of violence and intimidation, not to mention, election fraud, against the black citizens of Wilmington, in order to bring a halt to any progress following the end of the Civil War. Threatened Wilmington's Lie was a difficult and shaming book to read but also a brilliantly written and intensively researched history of the events that occurred in Wilmington, North Carolina, before, during and after the 1898 elections. Wilmington's white supremacists engineered a sustained and deliberate campaign of violence and intimidation, not to mention, election fraud, against the black citizens of Wilmington, in order to bring a halt to any progress following the end of the Civil War. Threatened and intimidated by successful black citizens, they used any means necessary to subjugate, and deny them their right to vote, live peacefully and earn an honest living. On the nights following the rigged election, thuggish Red Shirts, openly shot and murdered up to sixty, largely unarmed, black men. Hundreds of black families were forced to leave their homes and jobs and hide in the forests and swamp areas. At least fifty more prominent politicians and businesmen, were forcibly banished, white Republicans included. Despite campaigns to bring the perpetrators to justice, no white man was ever charged or convicted of any crime. In 2000, a specially put together commission gave its conclusion on the events of the 1898 - 'it was a documented conspiracy by white elites to overthrow a legitimately elected government through violence and intimidation. Federal and state authorities failed at all levels to respond to the violence or punish the perpetrators. The killings led directly to decades of Jim Crow discrimination and the disenfranchisement of that state's black citizens'. An important account of a shameful and historic moment in America's history, and one that has repercussions to this day.
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  • Cvillejon
    January 1, 1970
    If you’re like me and you have a better than average grasp of American history and you think you know just how badly African Americans were treated by white people in the general period we call the “Jim Crow” era, you need to read this book. Zucchino does an outstanding job of pulling together a detailed and forthright account of what happened in Wilmington, NC, in 1898. This is a true account of White Supremacy in perhaps its most undiluted and virulent (post-slavery) form. The ruthless If you’re like me and you have a better than average grasp of American history and you think you know just how badly African Americans were treated by white people in the general period we call the “Jim Crow” era, you need to read this book. Zucchino does an outstanding job of pulling together a detailed and forthright account of what happened in Wilmington, NC, in 1898. This is a true account of White Supremacy in perhaps its most undiluted and virulent (post-slavery) form. The ruthless violence, total lawlessness, and terror that many white people in and around Wilmington were willing (indeed, eager) to use to assert dominance over decent, hard-working, non-threatening black people is horrifying. Interestingly, the Klan actually played little direct role in the violence that led to the murder of about 60 African American men on November 10, 1898, and the forcible expulsion of many more. There was no shortage of groups of white men who organized themselves with greater or lesser effectiveness for the express purpose of murdering and terrifying black people. In fact, a plausible argument might be made that the rivalries among the white racist terrorist groups kept the violence in Wilmington lower than it would have been if the various hate groups had been better at sharing information and coordinating their actions. Zucchino has put together an appalling but very well written and compelling story about this horrible event in American history. It should be required reading.
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  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    Reads like a text book rather than a story, so it's not light reading.However, there's definitely enough detail to prove that an extremely dark incident/time in our nation's history occurred as Zucchino discovered.Unfortunately, this record 122 years subsequent to when it happened, was the victim of deep shame. So much so that this may be the most egregiously horrendous societal event that occurred in America. Then again, there are far too many others that we know about already.The message of Reads like a text book rather than a story, so it's not light reading.However, there's definitely enough detail to prove that an extremely dark incident/time in our nation's history occurred as Zucchino discovered.Unfortunately, this record 122 years subsequent to when it happened, was the victim of deep shame. So much so that this may be the most egregiously horrendous societal event that occurred in America. Then again, there are far too many others that we know about already.The message of this book is something we must never let happen again anywhere within our borders.Yet, conditions may be ripe as a result of stochastic terrorism at the top levels of American government for it to recur.
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  • Bill Warden
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed the history and learning of what happened. I wasn't super thrilled about the political agenda that encompassed the last 25% of the book.I'd recommend STOP READING before it gets to the Epilogue.
  • Janet Stevens
    January 1, 1970
    A true harrowing account of what happens with racism, what it is, how it manifests over time, and becomes part of the system! It is disturbing yet all need to read!
  • Jaydee414 slack
    January 1, 1970
    Unknown historyFascinating and relevatory account of yet another white-washed part of US historical race relations. An historical account that reads like a novel.
  • Don Healy
    January 1, 1970
    Exceptionally well researched and written, but such a infuriating and disturbing subject, I started to abandon the boat numerous times. Frankly, the Nazis learned from the US.
  • Rod Zemke
    January 1, 1970
    Well researched account of another piece of America's shameful record in its dealing with race after the Civil War. It would have been nice for the author to explain more fully how this happened at such a late date more perspective of what was happened in other southern states at the same time. The author does an excellent job of making it perfectly clear that there is still widespread attempts to limit the voting rights of blacks that continue through the time of the writing of this book. It Well researched account of another piece of America's shameful record in its dealing with race after the Civil War. It would have been nice for the author to explain more fully how this happened at such a late date more perspective of what was happened in other southern states at the same time. The author does an excellent job of making it perfectly clear that there is still widespread attempts to limit the voting rights of blacks that continue through the time of the writing of this book. It also show how bad the Robert's Court decision was in its ruling in Shelby County in 2013.
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