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God'll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi
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Description
An unlikely journalist, a murder case in Mississippi, and a fascinating literary true crime story in the style of Jon Ronson, for fans of "Serial."

A notorious white supremacist named Richard Barrett was brutally murdered in Mississippi in 2010 by a young black man named Vincent McGee. At first the murder seemed a twist on old Deep South race crimes. But then new revelations and complications came to light. Maybe it was a dispute over money rather than race—or, maybe and intriguingly, over sex.

John Safran, a young white Jewish Australian documentarian, had been in Mississippi and interviewed Barrett for a film on race. When he learned of Barrett’s murder, he returned to find out what happened and became caught up in the twists and turns of the case. During his time in Mississippi, Safran got deeper and deeper into this gothic southern world, becoming entwined in the lives of those connected with the murderwhite separatist frenemies, black lawyers, police investigators, oddball neighbors, the stunned families, even the killer himself. And the more he talked with them, the less simple the crimeand the people involvedseemed to be. In the end, he discovered how profoundly and indelibly complex the truth about someone’s lifeand deathcan be.

This is a brilliant, haunting, hilarious, unsettling story about race, money, sex, and power in the modern American South from an outsider’s point of view.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
11/28/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780698170537
ASIN:
B00JJXV7PQ
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APA Citation (style guide)

John Safran. (2014). God'll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

John Safran. 2014. God'll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

John Safran, God'll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi. Penguin Publishing Group, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

John Safran. God'll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi. Penguin Publishing Group, 2014. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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fullDescription
An unlikely journalist, a murder case in Mississippi, and a fascinating literary true crime story in the style of Jon Ronson, for fans of "Serial."

A notorious white supremacist named Richard Barrett was brutally murdered in Mississippi in 2010 by a young black man named Vincent McGee. At first the murder seemed a twist on old Deep South race crimes. But then new revelations and complications came to light. Maybe it was a dispute over money rather than race—or, maybe and intriguingly, over sex.

John Safran, a young white Jewish Australian documentarian, had been in Mississippi and interviewed Barrett for a film on race. When he learned of Barrett’s murder, he returned to find out what happened and became caught up in the twists and turns of the case. During his time in Mississippi, Safran got deeper and deeper into this gothic southern world, becoming entwined in the lives of those connected with the murderwhite separatist frenemies, black lawyers, police investigators, oddball neighbors, the stunned families, even the killer himself. And the more he talked with them, the less simple the crimeand the people involvedseemed to be. In the end, he discovered how profoundly and indelibly complex the truth about someone’s lifeand deathcan be.

This is a brilliant, haunting, hilarious, unsettling story about race, money, sex, and power in the modern American South from an outsider’s point of view.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 13, 2014
        Originally published in Australia as Murder in Mississippi in 2013, this stranger-than-fiction true crime story finds Safran—a white, Jewish documentary filmmaker from Australia—relocating to Rankin County, Miss., to dig deep into the grisly stabbing murder of a 67-year-old white supremacist in April 2010. A 23-year-old African-American man named Vincent McGee pleaded guilty in the case, but this was no run-of-the-mill race crime. With allegations swirling of a money-for-sex relationship between the founder of a white nationalist organization and his black neighbor, the lure was too great for Safran (a self-proclaimed “Race Trekkie”) to resist. Armed with his Dictaphone and a thirst for the truth, Safran tracks down and interviews nearly all individuals associated with the case, resulting in wildly opposing accounts of what happened that spring evening. Safran chronicles the twists and turns of the case through his own interactions with key players, coloring the narrative with text messages and Facebook posts that he received at the time. The result is a bizarrely unsettling, yet often witty book that paints a disturbing picture of the deep South today.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from October 15, 2014
        A murdered white supremacist sparks a remarkable investigation that is anything but straightforward.It's not often that the retelling of a brutal murder is full of laughs, but documentarian and debut author Safran is an entertaining writer. After becoming fascinated by the true crime genre, in 2010, he heard about the murder of white supremacist Richard Barrett, whom he had once pranked for a TV series. Armed with some personal knowledge of the victim, Safran headed for Mississippi, where he expected to uncover a racially charged crime and a defendant deserving his sympathy. However, he discovered that Barrett's black neighbors were mourning the victim, unaware that he was racist. That confusion was only the beginning. Whispers of homosexuality, possible schizophrenia and more continued to surface, with each new layer murkier than the last. Safran bounced among police and lawyers and families, neighbors, acquaintances and enemies of both the victim and perpetrator, and he documents every step, misstep, conspiracy theory and just plain weird encounter. While laughing at himself and the often absurd situations in which he was embroiled, Safran creates a rare animal: a true-crime account that provides no hard answers or even smoking guns but plenty of promised ones. The narrative moves in so many directions it feels like a carnival fun house-though it's always a pleasurable reading experience. Safran never found a way to neatly wrap up the story. Instead, he presents all the layers and angles, portraying a world that is more than black and white, where sometimes the absolute truth is an impossible dream and the only option left is acceptance of a flawed mystery. Weaving a tale that is simultaneously about race, failed systems, money, sex, family and simple rage, Safran truly did lose a year in Mississippi, and getting lost with him is a joy.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        November 15, 2014
        Australian Jewish radio-host and documentary-maker Safran had made a name for himself as a self-confessed race trekkie, challenging the cultural imperatives of his community and openly fascinated by the racial and ethnic complexities of the U.S. Safran had spent time in Mississippi interviewing white-supremacist Robert Barrett for a documentary on race relations. One year later, Barrett was murdered by a young black man, Vincent McGee. Safran returned to Mississippi to get to the bottom of the murder and tie his fascination with the true-crime genre to his fascination with race. In the course of his investigation and interviews with white supremacists, black-power advocates, eccentric neighbors, and family members, many of his assumptions are tested. Safran discovers that the truth behind the crime is driven as much by sex, money, and power as it is by race. Safran's account is at turns hilarious and often bizarre as he riffs on his perspective as an outsider mixing into a complex environment and failing to understand all manner of nuances.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2014

        Safran's book will make readers chuckle, fidget, and turn page after page wondering what will happen next as the author looks to find the truth about the murder of a white supremacist by a black man in the deep South. The dark humor in this real-life tale mostly comes from Safran, an Australian Jewish documentary filmmaker and comedian, who is a fish out of water as he navigates Jackson, MS. The writing is personal and blunt, as though the reader is peeking into the author's thoughts during his investigations. Safran often addresses other well-known true crime books such as Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. This work is similar in a way in that there is a culture clash between the author and the community where the murder happened, but Safran injects his perspective as a true outsider into a place that is friendly but soaked in history that contributes to the case. The author talks with the police, neighbors, white supremacists, and the killer as he digs into the truth, or many versions of it. VERDICT This true crime book will stick with readers. Safran does a great job of looking at the murder from multiple perspectives and brings in his own experience learning about the culture, which is in itself a character. For fans of true crime, Southern tales, and books similar to Capote's and John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. [See Prepub Alert, 6/2/14.]--Ryan Claringbole, Coll. Lib. at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 15, 2014

        After interviewing infamous white supremacist Richard Barrett in Mississippi for a film on race, Safran, a white Jewish Australian documentarian born in that state, learned that Barrett had been murdered by a young black man named Vincent McGee. He returned to investigate. As he shows here, the crime was a lot more complicated than what it first appeared to be: an inversion of the race crimes that dominated the Old South. The book promises to be an impassioned study of race, money, sex, and power, with a touch of humor.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from November 1, 2014

        Safran's book will make readers chuckle, fidget, and turn page after page wondering what will happen next as the author looks to find the truth about the murder of a white supremacist by a black man in the deep South. The dark humor in this real-life tale mostly comes from Safran, an Australian Jewish documentary filmmaker and comedian, who is a fish out of water as he navigates Jackson, MS. The writing is personal and blunt, as though the reader is peeking into the author's thoughts during his investigations. Safran often addresses other well-known true crime books such as Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. This work is similar in a way in that there is a culture clash between the author and the community where the murder happened, but Safran injects his perspective as a true outsider into a place that is friendly but soaked in history that contributes to the case. The author talks with the police, neighbors, white supremacists, and the killer as he digs into the truth, or many versions of it. VERDICT This true crime book will stick with readers. Safran does a great job of looking at the murder from multiple perspectives and brings in his own experience learning about the culture, which is in itself a character. For fans of true crime, Southern tales, and books similar to Capote's and John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. [See Prepub Alert, 6/2/14.]--Ryan Claringbole, Coll. Lib. at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

popularity
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shortDescription
An unlikely journalist, a murder case in Mississippi, and a fascinating literary true crime story in the style of Jon Ronson, for fans of "Serial."

A notorious white supremacist named Richard Barrett was brutally murdered in Mississippi in 2010 by a young black man named Vincent McGee. At first the murder seemed a twist on old Deep South race crimes. But then new revelations and complications came to light. Maybe it was a dispute over money rather than race—or, maybe and intriguingly, over sex.

John Safran, a young white Jewish Australian documentarian, had been in Mississippi and interviewed Barrett for a film on race. When he learned of Barrett’s murder, he returned to find out what happened and became caught up in the twists and turns of the case. During his time in Mississippi, Safran got deeper and deeper into this gothic southern world, becoming entwined in the lives of those connected with the murderwhite separatist frenemies,...
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The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi
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