Picks and Pans Review: Our Town

UPDATED 04/17/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/17/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Cynthia Carr


"Much of this story is about shame," writes Carr in her exhaustive investigation of the savage beating and lynching of two black teens in her father's hometown of Marion, Ind., in 1930. And it is her own dark connection to Marion's racist past that drives the narrative: Her father discovers her grandfather Earl's Ku Klux Klan membership card in a safe deposit box after his death. Carr's succinct, reportorial style draws out witnesses of the event and the raw hatred of current Klan members, but the heart of the story is all her own: "I wasn't just a journalist—I was in it and of it," she writes.

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