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The Wayward Girls of Samarcand

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  27 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The Wayward Girls of Samarcand is the true story of the sensational 1931 Arson Trial in North Carolina. Sixteen poor white teenage girls faced the death penalty for burning down two dormitories at the State Reform School for Girls. Crusading journalist, socialite, and attorney Nell Battle Lewis defended her clients by exposing sadistic treatment, deplorable conditions, and ...more
Paperback, 258 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Bradley Creek Press
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Doubledee Mcpirate
May 15, 2013 Doubledee Mcpirate rated it liked it
This piece of North Carolina history is far too important to be so poorly written. The events that transpire in the book are an ugly part of American history and, though uncomfortable, should be examined. I understand that the research must have been difficult and the topic uncomfortable, but there is solid information in the book. Surely the authors could have asked colleagues to proof read and edit the book. I found myself distracted by the lack of writing control. I have read senior seminar p ...more
Liz Owens Mshar
Mar 30, 2014 Liz Owens Mshar rated it liked it
Disappointed that this book was so poorly written. Incredibly important true story about the injustices carried out in the 1930's in NC against young women. These girls were victims of rape, incest, abuse and eugenics. Their only "crime" was being born into poverty.
Aug 14, 2013 Stephanie rated it liked it
Interesting bit of history from my lovely state of North Carolina. In reading the book it is interesting to see how far parents would go with daughters that were misbehaving in some manner. I feel really that a lot of the girls were sent to Samarcand because their families if they had families could not provide for their entire family, so they were shipped off to Samarcand for any misdeed. I am sure the cruelities that the girls had to deal with at Samarcand was experienced at a lot of other pla ...more
Christiane Bungert
Apr 11, 2014 Christiane Bungert rated it it was amazing
very interesting and love the fact that it is a true story
Oct 15, 2012 Carol rated it it was amazing
This book is unbelievable! It's a true story that reads like a novel. I couldn't put it down. It's the story of a reform school like place in NC during the early 1900's & the abuse suffered by the young woman sent there. When they,finally, fight back they get in a mess of trouble. 16 girls are charged with arson & face the sentence of death. Enter a female attorney, that goes to bat for these misguided young women. Met the two authors at a book signing this evening.
Jun 24, 2013 Marilyn rated it really liked it
This was an excellent book written about a shockingly sad time at a fundamentally flawed institution. Even though, Samarcand Manor was within twenty miles of my hometown, it always remained a mystery to me...just somewhere that "bad girls" were sent.
Dec 02, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing
Shocking that this is a true story!
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Melton Alonza McLaurin received his Ph.D. in American history from the University of South Carolina in 1967 and taught at the University of South Alabama prior to joining the UNCW department of history as chairperson in 1977. From 1996 until 2003 he served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, retiring in 2004. He is the author or co-author of nine books and numerous articles on vario ...more
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