Madame Lalaurie -- Mistress of the Haunted House by Carol Morrow Long, University Press of Florida '13, $24.95, 258 pages, ASIN #1609491998. Index, bibliography, notes, b&w images sprinkled through text.
From the dust jacket:
"The legend of Madame Delphine Lalaurie, a wealthy society matron and accused slave torturer, has haunted New Orleans for nearly 200 years. Her macabre tale is frequently retold, and her French Quarter mansion has been referred to as 'the most haunted house in the city.'
"Rumors that Lalaurie abused her slaves were already in circulation when fire broke out in the kitchen and slave quarters of her home in 1834. Bystanders intent on rescuing anyone still inside forced their way past Lalaurie and her husband into the burning service wing. Once inside, they discovered seven 'wretched negroes,' starved, chained, and mutilated. The crowd's temper quickly shifted from concern to outrage, concluding that the Lalauries had been willing to allow their slaves to perish in the flames rather than risk discovery of the horrific conditions in which they were kept."
Author Carolyn Morrow Long is retired from the National Museum of American History and has written several previous books. She lives in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans.
The Double V -- How Wars, Protest, and Harry Truman Desegregated America's Military by Rawn James, Jr., Bloomsbury '13, stated First U.S. Edition, First Printing. $28, 290 pages, ASIN #1608196089. Index, notes, grouping of b&w glossy images.
Most Americans associate the Civil Rights Movement with the 1960s. But as lawyer Rawn James, Jr. writes in his new book, a key element of the Movement occurred in 1948, when by Executive Order 9981 President Harry Truman desegregated all branches of the U.S. military. Not only was that a very early stage of the Movement, but it marked "the culmination of more than 150 years of legal, political, and moral struggles. African American activists in the military adopted the phrase "the Double V" to mark their goal in World War II: victory over fascism abroad and racism at home.
"Beginning with the Revolutionary War," James writes, "African Americans had used military service to do their patriotic duty and to advance the cause of black citizenship. The fight for a desegregated military was truly a long war -- decades of protest and effort highlighted by bravery on the fields of France, in the skies over Germany, and in the face of deep-seated prejudice in the high command and in Washington."
A graduate of Yale University and Duke University School of Law, Rawn James, Jr. has practiced law for a decade in Washington, D.C. and is the author of Root and Branch: Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and the Struggle to End Segregation. He is the son and grandson of African American veterans.