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Blood at the Root


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About the Author

Patrick Phillips is an award-winning poet, translator, and professor. A Guggenheim and NEA Fellow, his poetry collection, Elegy for a Broken Machine, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Phillips lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Stanford University.


"[M]eticulously and elegantly reveals the power of white distort and destroy, not only lives and accomplishments, but historical memory, the law, and basic human civility." -- Carol Anderson - The New York Times "[H]umanizes its subjects and brims with detail...[G]raphic, unflinching, important." -- Jennifer Senior - The New York Times "Deeply researched and crisply written, "Blood at the Root" is an impressive and timely case study of the racial violence and historical amnesia that characterize much of American history. a gifted storyteller." -- Matthew Delmont - The Boston Globe "Phillips' book feels timely, unapologetically discussing the way fear, panic, ignorance, and timing may have kept Forsyth County trapped in the past." -- William Lee - The Chicago Tribune "There are places the civil rights movement literally passed by, and for decades Forsyth County was one of those pockets. Blood at the Root is a vital investigation of Forsyth's history, and of the process by which racial injustice is perpetuated in America." -- U.S. Congressman John Lewis, author of March "Nothing undermines social justice more than our collective ignorance about the racial terrorism that haunts too many places in America. Blood at the Root is a must-read, thorough, detailed, and powerful. It's a story we need to know and never forget." -- Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy "Some would say that Patrick Phillips should leave well enough alone and keep quiet... But [his] voice is too honest, too brave, and too brilliant to be silenced. With a poet's gift for music, and with a detective's dedication to the facts, Blood at the Root faces the specter of a bloody history without turning its back on the hope that the present has brought us. If the truth sets us free, this book will give you wings." -- Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow "The burden of southern history lies not in what we know about the past but what we do not know. Patrick Phillips uncovers an important untold piece of history... What he reveals in this important book does not make this chilling piece of the past any easier to bear, but he brings it into sharper focus, which is long overdue." -- W. Ralph Eubanks, author of Ever is a Long Time: A Journey in Mississippi's Dark Past "Phillips brings a journalist's crisp perspective to this precise and disquieting account of a reprehensible and underreported chapter in America's racial history." -- Booklist, Starred review

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