Under Sentence of Death

Lynching in the South

Edited by W. Fitzhugh Brundage

344 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 7 illus., 3 maps, 6 tables, notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4636-0
    Published: June 1997
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-6832-9
    Published: November 2017
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-6655-9
    Published: November 2017

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From the assembled work of fifteen leading scholars emerges a complex and provocative portrait of lynching in the American South. With subjects ranging in time from the late antebellum period to the early twentieth century, and in place from the border states to the Deep South, this collection of essays provides a rich comparative context in which to study the troubling history of lynching. Covering a broad spectrum of methodologies, these essays further expand the study of lynching by exploring such topics as same-race lynchings, black resistance to white violence, and the political motivations for lynching. In addressing both the history and the legacy of lynching, the book raises important questions about Southern history, race relations, and the nature of American violence. Though focused on events in the South, these essays speak to patterns of violence, injustice, and racism that have plagued the entire nation. The contributors are Bruce E. Baker, E. M. Beck, W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Joan E. Cashin, Paula Clark, Thomas G. Dyer, Terence Finnegan, Larry J. Griffin, Nancy MacLean, William S. McFeely, Joanne C. Sandberg, Patricia A. Schechter, Roberta Senechal de la Roche, Stewart E. Tolnay, and George C. Wright.

About the Author

W. Fitzhugh Brundage is William B. Umstead Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is author of Where These Memories Grow: History, Memory, and Southern Identity and the prize-winning Lynching in the New South.
For more information about W. Fitzhugh Brundage, visit the Author Page.


"A collection of provocative and engaging essays. . . . Under Sentence of Death simultaneously offers fascinating insights into the nature of lynching and points to promising new perspectives on the topic. Thus this is a first-rate collection."--Criminal Justice Review

“The diverse viewpoints that it presents will doubtless make it a standard text in southern history.”--The Alabama Review

“[This book] should be required reading for every historian of the modern South.”--Journal of Southern History

”Fascinating and thought-provoking.”--Slavery and Abolition

“Well-balanced and insightful. . . . [Brundage’s book is] crucial to any informed evaluation of one of the most ugly scars upon the face of southern history.”--North Carolina Historical Review

“A superb collection of original and reprinted essays about southern lynchings. . . . A first-rate collection, filled with good writing, solid scholarship, and original ideas. It is, above all, a vital contribution to the growing literature about the scope and impact of violence in shaping American life.”--Georgia Historical Quarterly