New ranch owner Frank Madden, half Indian but posing as white, arrives just as an all white jury finds the three white Shipley brothers who lynched three Indians innocent. There is soon trouble between Frank and the Shipleys who are using Frank's land to graze their cattle. When the brother of one of the Indian victims kills a Shipley, Frank is accused and put in jail. The Shipleys then organize a lynch mob and head for the jail. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
The original novel was written by Arthur Gordon, a Southerner who was educated at Yale and Oxford. During WWII, he read about a lynching in his home state of Georgia, and was so incensed by it, he came home and wrote Reprisal. The novel is a black/white story, not Indian/white, but otherwise pretty similar. Gordon's anger was based in the fact he was in Europe fighting Facists and Nazis, and back home there were people killing citizens--just like the Nazis. Plus there were thousands of black troops fighting in Europe against the Nazis as well. The injustice was too much, and so the author fought back using his novel to illuminate the issues of race and hate.
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