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Confederacy of Silence

Confederacy of Silence

A True Tale of the New Old South

When Richard Rubin, fresh out of the Ivy League, accepts a job at a daily newspaper in the old Delta town of Greenwood, Mississippi, he is thrust into a place as different from his hometown of New York as any in the country. Yet to his surprise, he is warmly welcomed by the townspeople and soon finds his first great scoop in Handy Campbell, a poor, black teen and gifted high school quarterback who goes on to win a spot on Mississippi State's team -- a training ground for the NFL.

Six years later, Rubin, back in New York, learns that Handy is locked up in Greenwood, accused of capital murder. Returning south to cover the trial, Rubin follows the trail that took Handy from the football field to county jail. As the best and worst elements of Mississippi rise up to do battle over one man's fate, Rubin must confront his own unresolved feelings about the confederacy of silence that initially enabled him to thrive in Greenwood but ultimately forced him to leave it.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 448 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780671036676 | 
  • June 2003
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: Hospitality State

The true wonder of hindsight lies not in its ability to clarify situations and events, but in its propensity to coat them with a glaze of dignity and glamour, even glory. Today, when people ask me why I moved to Mississippi in the summer of 1988, I tell them I did it for adventure, and to get a priceless education in the science of journalism, and because I wanted to see and experience and understand a place I had studied and written about extensively in college.

At the time, though, I was pretty sure I was going to Mississippi because I couldn't type.

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I was supposed to be a lawyer. In... see more

About the Author

Richard Rubin
Photo Credit: Nathan Purdee

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