God'll Cut You Down

God’ll Cut You Down

The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi

Format
Hardcover
 
Additional Formats
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781594633355
  • 368 Pages
  • Riverhead
  • Adult

Overview

An unlikely journalist, a murder case in Mississippi, and a fascinating literary true crime story in the style of Jon Ronson.

A notorious white supremacist named Richard Barrett was brutally murdered in Mississippi in 2010 by a young black man named Vincent McGee. At first the murder seemed a twist on old Deep South race crimes. But then new revelations and complications came to light. Maybe it was a dispute over money rather than race—or, maybe and intriguingly, over sex.

John Safran, a young white Jewish Australian documentarian, had been in Mississippi and interviewed Barrett for a film on race. When he learned of Barrett’s murder, he returned to find out what happened and became caught up in the twists and turns of the case. During his time in Mississippi, Safran got deeper and deeper into this gothic southern world, becoming entwined in the lives of those connected with the murderwhite separatist frenemies, black lawyers, police investigators, oddball neighbors, the stunned families, even the killer himself. And the more he talked with them, the less simple the crimeand the people involvedseemed to be. In the end, he discovered how profoundly and indelibly complex the truth about someone’s lifeand deathcan be.

This is a brilliant, haunting, hilarious, unsettling story about race, money, sex, and power in the modern American South from an outsider’s point of view.

Praise

Praise for God’ll Cut You Down

“John Safran’s captivating inquiry into a murder in darkest Mississippi is by turns informative, frightening and hilarious. It is enlivened by a swarm of creepy locals and a torrent of astonishing details–such as hedge clippers put to surgical use in the performance of an official autopsy.”
—John Berendt, bestselling author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

“A hilarious and bizarre story that leads where you least expect it. John Safran has for years been one of my favourite journalists – forever pushing the boundaries, funny, startling, a hurricane.” —Jon Ronson, bestselling author of The Psychopath Test and Them

“Funny and gripping and wonderfully weird.” —Louis Theroux, BBC journalist
 
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