The Lynching, The Epic Courtroom Battle that Brought Down the Klan

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JULY 14, 2016
Morris Dees
Dear tom,

You should read ...

... a great new book, The Lynching – The Epic Courtroom Battle that Brought Down the Klan, by New York Times bestselling author Laurence Leamer.

It’s the fascinating, true story of how the Southern Poverty Law Center brought a lawsuit that bankrupted the United Klans of America for lynching Michael Donald, a black teenager.

At the time of the historic case, the United Klans was America's most notorious hate group, with chapters in 31 states. Its members bombed Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church, killing four little girls, and committed many other acts of terrorism.

Using a novel legal strategy, the Center won a crushing $7 million verdict from an all-white Alabama jury in 1987. The New York Times called it "monumental," noting that it was the first case of its kind.

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"Laurence Leamer does a wonderful job in The Lynching describing how Dees put the KKK out of business," wrote historian Douglas Brinkley. And when Leamer appeared on Tavis Smiley's PBS talk show earlier this month, the host called The Lynching "one of my five best reads for the summer."

After the Donald verdict, the Center went on to crush nine other violent white supremacist groups – from the heavily armed Knights of the KKK in North Carolina to the White Aryan Resistance in California.

The Center's legal strategy has been so devastating that the world’s leading neo-Nazi website had this post about the SPLC: "Galling as it may be, no other single organization has more effectively damaged our Cause."

The Center's work is dangerous, but my dedicated colleagues have never flinched – not when the Klan burned our building and not when the FBI uncovered plot after plot to kill me or blow up the Center’s offices. Today, the Center is tracking hate groups operating across the country.

I urge you to order a copy of The Lynching – The Epic Courtroom Battle that Brought Down the Klan. I’m very proud of this tell-all story by one of America's top writers.

Morris Dees Signature
Morris Dees
Founder, Southern Poverty Law Center
P.S. The Lynching was published in early June and has been widely praised. Order a copy today from your favorite bookseller.
"One of my five best reads for the summer."
Tavis Smiley
Order Today