The Past Is Never Dead

The Past Is Never Dead

The Trial of James Ford Seale and Mississippi's Struggle for Redemption

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
Documents the controversial 2007 trial of KKK member James Ford Seale for the drowning murders of two African-American men in 1964, describing the legal difficulties that shaped the case as well as allegations about Mississippi's complicity. By an Edgar Award-winning author.

Perseus Publishing
A dramatic courtroom thriller that tests the bounds of redemption for the racial sins of the American South, by the best-selling author of In Broad Daylight

On May 2, 1964, Klansman James Ford Seale picked up two black hitchhikers and drowned both young men in the Mississippi River. Seale spent more than forty years a free man, before finally facing trial in 2007. There could have been two defendants in the resulting case: James Ford Seale for kidnapping and murder, and the State of Mississippi for complicity?knowingly aiding, abetting, and creating men like Seale.

In The Past Is Never Dead, best-selling author Harry MacLean follows Seale’s trial, the legal difficulties of prosecuting kidnapping and murder charges decades after the fact, and the strain on a state contending with a past that can’t be forgiven. MacLean’s narrative is at once the account of a gripping legal battle and an acute meditation on the possibility of redemption.



Book News
Attorney MacLean narrates the course of the 2007 trial of James Ford Seale for the 1964 murder of two young Black men, Charles Moore and Henry Dee. This is the core theme of a book that is really about MacLean's discovery of Mississippi. Early on he mentions the recent films about the Civil Rights movement and how they reinforce the image most Americans have of the state as backward, racist and totally unreconstructed. Through interviews with a wide variety of people, usually on the subject of the trial or of what they remember of the climate of the 1960s, MacLean tries to give a more nuanced view of the diversity of people and opinions across Mississippi. But he also states that the violent racial past of Mississippi can't be glossed over. His many Faulkner references underscore this. MacLean's writing style is that of a front-porch story teller mesmerizing his audience as the light fades. The story is of the trial as an attempt at redemption for Mississippi, but also as a pilgrim's progress in which each citizen is at a different stage in the journey. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell North Amer
On May 2, 1964, Klansman James Ford Seale picked up two black hitchhikers and drowned both young men in the Mississippi River. Seale spent more than forty years a free man, before finally facing trial in 2007. There could have been two defendants in the resulting case: James Ford Seale for kidnapping and murder, and the State of Mississippi for complicity - knowingly aiding, abetting, and creating men like Seale. In The Past Is Never Dead, best-selling author Harry MacLean follows Seale's trial, the legal difficulties of prosecuting kidnapping and murder charges decades after the fact, and the strain on a state contending with a past that can't be forgiven. MacLean's narrative is at once the account of a gripping legal battle and an acute meditation on the possibility of redemption.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : BasicCivitas Books, [2009]
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9780465005048
Branch Call Number: 345.762 SEALE MACLE

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at GL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top