At the Hands of Persons Unknown Book Critique
At the Hands of Persons Unknown, a novel by Philip Dray, is a decisive explanation to the past multiple acts of lynching in America. In the past, Caucasians were seen as superior to African Americans. Lynching was one of the many acts that gave whites this superiority. The gruesome act of lynching was overlooked by the nation as a whole. People didn’t think anything of it and some seen it as entertainment. At the Hands of Persons Unknown could be seen as a tool to open up the eyes of people and show how serious lynching was in its time. The historical question that the author is addressing, from my point of view, is “why was the issue of lynching disregarded?” I feel that this is the historical question that the author is addressing because in the novel, there were a variety of stories of African-American men who were lynched. A majority if these acts of lynching had little to no evidence. It was just a malicious action done by whites just because they had the authority to do so. The arguments that the author portrays in the novel about the historical question is evidence, as in court cases, where in the end, the people who performed the cruel act were basically commended for committing this crime. He uses these arguments to show the reader how careless the court system and nation as a whole was with this issue. The author also uses examples of the efforts of people such as WEB Dubois and Ida B Wells to inform the nation of these bizarre acts and show them that they were uncalled for. The author used a variety of things to support his arguments. These things include records, court cases, books, articles, and information and findings from WEB Dubois and Ida B Wells. The variety he used in his novel allowed it to be very informative and it also allowed him to get his argument across more clearly to the reader. I feel that because the author used such a range of information to support his argument, it made it really...
Cited: Dray, Philip. At the Hands of Persons Unknown: the Lynching of Black America. New York: Random House, 2002. Print.
Hall, Randal L. "Journal of Southern History." Web. .
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