The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race, Law, Justice in the Reconstruction Era

Posted by Dan Alba on April 10, 2015

Although his book reads like a classic "who done it?" detective story from the pages of Sherlock Holmes, Michael A. Ross, author of The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race and Justice in the Reconstruction Era offers deep insights into the hearts and minds of Southern society in the aftermath of the American Civil War. In honor of the release of Facing History and Ourselves' newest case study The Reconstruction Era: The Fragility of Democracy, we're doing a virtual book club on the blog!

Book coverREC_book_cover_smallThe Reconstruction Era: The Fragility of Democracy examines the choices made by former slaves and whites to forge a new meaning of membership in American democracy. Michael Ross's book complements our case study by revealing a relatively unknown story that captivated the nation in 1870 and thereby adding more complexity to our own understanding of Reconstruction .

We invite you to join this online "book club" conversation with other educators interested in the era of Reconstruction when identity, law, gender, race, violence and politics intersected during one the most sensational and publicized kidnapping cases in American history.
We will explore this book together in four blog sessions.
  • April 24, 2015: Chapter 1
  • May 8, 2015: Chapters 2, 3, 4
  • May 22, 2015: Chapters 5, 6, 7
  • June 5, 2015: Chapters 8, 9, 10
For next week...
Chapter One: "A Kidnapping in the Back of Town" sets the stage of the New Orleans 1870 kidnapping of 17 month old Molly Digby in an area referred to as the 'Back of Town' between the French Quarter and the Garden District. What considerations or conditions do we learn from chapter one that reflect the challenges of the larger society and the nation as a whole?

Topics: Reconstruction, The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case, Book

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