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One Night of Madness
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One Night of Madness

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  36 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
On the cusp of the civil rights movement, tragedy and injustice in rural Southern towns was not uncommon, but the wickedness as retold by author Stokes McMillan in One Night of Madness is shocking and utterly desperate. The year was 1950. Mary Ella Harris, a mother of five, works hard sharecropping alongside her husband, a man with a penchant for gambling, drinking, and as ...more
Paperback, 426 pages
Published November 11th 2009 by Oak Harbor Publishing
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Jun 11, 2010 Alyson rated it it was amazing
This book is a true crime that happened in Attala County, MS(where I grew up). It happened when my parents were young...and it turns out that I recognized many names in the book. I spoke with my grandfather, Ephriam Burrell, about the book a few months ago and he surprised me with what he knew about many of the characters and the actual crime itself. It turns out that the "potato shack" actually sits on Grandaddy's land.
I couldn't put the book down. McMillan's attention to detail and choice of
May 27, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it
Truly great read! The character building is fantastic and the area is so well described socially you find yourself building these people and their society around you. The matter of fact dealings of race, and the frank way they are addressed in the book are an interesting window into the history of civil rights and the changing opinions about race relations. At the same time the economics and the social strata of the evolving south are portrayed well here. Over all the story is tragic, but the au ...more
Jan 21, 2015 Charity rated it it was amazing
This book is stunningly well-written. The reader gets to know the players in the story intricately, yet it does not have the feel of being exploitative like some "true crime" novels or narratives surrounding racial tensions can be. I became interested in this book because a colleague of mine in the education field told me about it; he shared it with me both because he has familial ties to people in the book and because we have discussed issues of race often. However, I wasn't more than a few pag ...more
Nov 27, 2013 Ray rated it it was amazing
It is a little disturbing to see one of your relatives mentioned in a true story, but not necessarily in a good way. But a great read....
Jan 26, 2013 Rossie rated it really liked it
I loved this. I grew up hearing the Leon Turner story but never knew the details, not even which part of the county it happened in. Maybe the greatest value for me was helping me see what Attala County was like 60 years ago. It's the rare book written today about Mississippi that's not a civil rights-era story. It's set in 1950. This is the time when my parents were young adolescents, and so I read it imagining them going about their 11- and 12-year-old lives, knowing that murderers were loose n ...more
Deborah Quarles
Sep 06, 2010 Deborah Quarles rated it really liked it
This book is part crime drama and part race relations study of mid-century Mississippi. Great time has been taken to set the scene, so to speak. More importantly, the author thoroughly researched the lives, family lineage, and personalities of the people captured on these pages.

This location of the events--Attala County, Mississippi--is the area in which my mother grew up. It is a small community, so the places are familiar, as are some of the people. It is an historical account, with some narr
May 20, 2010 Somer rated it really liked it
I was very eager to read this book after my father (one of the current 5th circuit court judges in Attala County, Mississippi) told me about it at Christmas. I finally got the opportunity to read it last week. Reading about my home county (and even though I've lived away from Attala County more than 3x as long as I lived there, it will always be home) brought back so many memories.

I think Mr. McMillan did a remarkable job of establishing place and character. I was riveted through most of the boo
Oct 21, 2012 Julia rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful true crime book. He builds the story based on the cover photo. It takes place in Mississippi when segregation was a part of life there. It's not what you may at first think.
Lynn Shurden
Mar 04, 2010 Lynn Shurden rated it really liked it
Great MS book about madness with regard to race and murder.
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