Saturday, December 2, 2006

H-Law Review of Moore, Carnival of Blood

How's that for a title? Bruce Baker's review of Moore is posted on H-Law. Here are details:

John Hammond Moore. Carnival of Blood: Dueling, Lynching, and Murder in South Carolina, 1880-1920. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2006. Reviewed for H-Law by Bruce E. Baker, Department of History, Royal Holloway, University of London

Human Life is Cheap in South Carolina

A headline from a Florence newspaper in 1903--"Human Life is Cheap in South Carolina"--could just as easily have been the title of John Hammond Moore's new survey of lethal interpersonal violence in South Carolina around the turn of the twentieth century. _A Carnival of Blood_ demonstrates this proposition in great detail, providing some explanations of why it was the case. Beginning with the unsettled period immediately after Reconstruction and continuing to the beginning of the modern era after World War I, Moore examines the passing of the dueling tradition, the rise and fall of lynching, and the persistent problem of homicide (fueled by drink and an abundance of easily available pistols). The book's topic, and especially its lively and enjoyable style, should give it appeal to a readership well beyond the academy, but it also addresses issues that will interest scholars studying violence and the legal system in the United States in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.

For the rest, go here.

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