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Carnival of Fury

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  11 reviews
One July week in 1900 an obscure black laborer named Robert Charles drew national headlines when he shot twenty-seven whites--including seven policemen--in a series of encounters with the New Orleans police. An avid supporter of black emigration, Charles believed it foolish to rely on southern whites to uphold the law or to acknowledge even minimal human rights for blacks. ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published August 1st 1986 by Louisiana State University Press (first published 1976)
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Jul 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is the story of Robert Charles, an itinerant Back-to-Africa sympathizer, whose botched arrest by white policemen sparked a one-man, fortnight-long revolt against white supremacy--and the only race riot in New Orleans during the 20th century.

Fury, which was published in the mid-Seventies is the only biography of this interesting man. The book also gives the reader an insight into the times that made Charles: his birth and coming-of-age in Copiah, MS; his getting into trouble; his migration,
Allen Cheesman
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
William Ivy Hair's "Carnival of Fury" a well researched somber look at the racial hatred and mob violence in the early 20th Century. I highly recommend Hair's book for all to read. We can do better America! We must!
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
In the late 1800s, packs of half-wild dogs were commonly seen roving around the Mississippi countryside. One estimate puts their numbers at four thousand.

At the same time, Copiah County, where Robert Charles was born, came to be the only county in Mississippi where whites and blacks formed a coalition to overthrow the wealthy and white Democratic party. Their supporters were quickly terrorized—"with democratic thunder," one newspaper wrote—and their leader, John Prentiss Matthews, shot dead whil
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book, William Ivy Hair sketches out the life of an obscure New Orleans resident of elusive origins who in 1900 killed 27 white men, including several police officers, and started a race riot.

Despite evident through and detailed research on Robert Charles, Hair is forced to admit that due to a dearth of evidence a great many details on his life cannot be known. Even his place of birth and his residence during his early childhood is unknown, although Hair presents circumstantial evidence t
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was a bit slow paced every two chapters and certain characters were exposited upon that had no bearing to the overall story. I really did like this book, but I was forced to read it for my History class and I have to say that I willed myself to read this in one sitting.

Robert Charles was no monster, but he wasn't a saint. He was a human being stuck in a time where his kind were prejudiced and harshly disenfranchised. I can sympathize with his plights but I cannot condone his actions of murder
Sean Chick
May 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the best written history books of all time. A fair and nuanced account of what might be the low-point of New Orleans history. Hair does not fall into the traps of the long dead Dunning School or the more currently popular Neo-abolitionists, who often misinterpret events. Indeed, this allows the human tragedy of this event to come to the fore, such as the fact that two of Charles' victims were excellent police officers.
Ronald Jones
A very well researched book about a black laborer in turn-of-the century New Orleans who kills twenty seven whites in a gun battle. The author covers this event with great depth. He also provides the historical and social context that laid the groundwork for this violent confrontation.
Matt Neely
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
History that reads like a novel. Much like Devil in a White City.
Dec 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, louisiana
This is a well written book about a not so well known incident from New Orleans' past. It shows that resistance has been going on for a long, long time.
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
You think you know New Orleans, and then you read this. A bitter, violent story, and a riveting one. Larry Davis had nothing on Robert Charles.
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
I think every Southerner should read this one.
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William Ivy Hair was Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Southern History at Georgia College in Milledgeville.

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