Third Man Books

Dynamite Nashville: Unmasking the FBI, the KKK, and the Bombers Beyond Their Control [PRE-ORDER 07/16]


Third Man Books

Dynamite Nashville: Unmasking the FBI, the KKK, and the Bombers Beyond Their Control [PRE-ORDER 07/16]

  • Description

NOT YET AVAILABLE. Pre-order now. This title is scheduled to arrive July 16, 2024.
Note: release dates and prices are tentative. When pre-ordering with multiple items, remember your order will not ship until the last pre-ordered item is in stock. If you want items to ship separately, place separate orders.

On September 10, 1957, Hattie Cotton Elementary School in Nashville, Tennessee, blew up. On March 16, 1958, the Jewish Community Center was bombed. On April 19, 1960, the home of Civil Rights attorney and Nashville city councilman, Z. Alexander Looby was dynamited. He and his wife were lucky to escape with their lives. These bombings have never been solved.

In fact, many in Nashville don’t even know they’re connected.

In Dynamite Nashville, Betsy Phillips pieces together what really happened in Nashville at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement. It has national implications for how we understand the violent white response to desegregation efforts and white supremacist actions now.

Just as Nashville was where Civil Rights icons like John Lewis, James Lawson, and Diane Nash got their start, it turns out that Nashville is also where a network of racial terrorists began experimenting with using dynamite against integrationists and the Civil Rights Movement. Worse, in Nashville, we see how the differing agendas of local police and the FBI allowed these bombers to escape prosecution until decades later, if at all.

J.B. Stoner, perhaps best known as one of James Earl Ray’s attorneys, brought together Klansmen disillusioned with the Klan’s unwillingness to sanction violence and racists unaffiliated with any particular group and provided them the training and support they’d need to commit acts of terrorism throughout the South. Members of this network committed at least twenty bombings between 1957 and 1963, when the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, which killed four little girls (a bombing for which Stoner allegedly provided the dynamite), forced tighter dynamite regulations, making it hard for the network to get their hands on the stuff.

Dynamite Nashville, then, is a prequel to the racist violence of the 1960s, the story of how these bombers came together to learn how to terrorize communities, to blow up homes, schools, and religious buildings, and to escape any meaningful justice.

Author: Betsy T. Phillips
Publisher: Third Man Books
Page Count: 240pp
Size: 6 x 9
Notes: paperback
Date of Publication: July 16, 2024
ISBN: 978-8986614571