Honor Killing

Honor Killing : Race, Rape, and Clarence Darrow's Spectacular Last Case

4.18 (233 ratings by Goodreads)

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In the fall of 1931, Thalia Massie, the bored, aristocratic wife of a young naval officer stationed in Honolulu, accused six nonwhite islanders of gang rape. The ensuing trial let loose a storm of racial and sexual hysteria, but the case against the suspects was scant and the trial ended in a hung jury. Outraged, Thalia's socialite mother arranged the kidnapping and murder of one of the suspects. In the spectacularly publicized trial that followed, Clarence Darrow came to Hawai'i to defend Thalia's mother, a sorry epitaph to a noble career.It is one of the most sensational criminal cases in American history, Stannard has rendered more than a lurid tale. One hundred and fifty years of oppression came to a head in those sweltering courtrooms. In the face of overwhelming intimidation from a cabal of corrupt military leaders and businessmen, various people involved with the case--the judge, the defense team, the jurors, a newspaper editor, and the accused themselves--refused to be cowed. Their moral courage united the disparate elements of the non-white community and galvanized Hawai'i's rapid transformation from an oppressive white-run oligarchy to the harmonic, multicultural American state it became.

Honor Killing is a great true crime story worthy of Dominick Dunne--both a sensational read and an important work of social history
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Product details

  • Paperback | 466 pages
  • 139.7 x 208.3 x 35.6mm | 317.52g
  • Penguin Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0143036637
  • 9780143036630
  • 1,245,539

Review quote

"Combines superb courtroom drama with a sweeping view of a lush world fed by unfettered power and clamorous racism." --New York Daily News"First-rate history that works as a true-crime thriller and as a social and political history." --Bryan Burrough, coauthor of Barbarians at the Gate and author of Public Enemies
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About Professor of American Studies David E Stannard

David E. Stannard received his Ph.D. from Yale University and is a professor of American studies at the University of Hawai'i. A Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and American Council of Learned Societies fellow and a widely recognized authority on Hawai'ian history and culture, he has written five previous books, including American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World.
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Table of contents

1. Nothing but Trouble
2. Paradise of the Pacific
3. Something Awful Has Happened
4. Thalia's Story
5. Hell's Half Acre
6. Arrest
7. Rush to Judgement
8. Making News
9. Alibis and Accusations
10. Taking Sides
11. Grace and Tommie
12. On Trial
13. For the Defense
14. Lust-Sodden Beasts
15. The Shame of Honolulu
16. A Death in the Islands
17. Penthouse for a Prison
18. Tears of Heaven
19. Grand Jury
20. Attorney for the Damned
21. A Copper Minor's Son
22. Territory of Hawaii v. Fortescue et al.
23. Dementia Americana
24. Everybody Knows I Love You!
25. Where Is Kahahawai?
26. The Unwritten Law
27. Case Closed
28. Prelude to Revolution

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Rating details

233 ratings
4.18 out of 5 stars
5 43% (100)
4 38% (88)
3 16% (37)
2 2% (5)
1 1% (3)
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