Honor Killing

Race, Rape, and Clarence Darrow's Spectacular Last Case

David E. Stannard - Author

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ISBN 9781440649219 | 496 pages | 02 May 2006 | Penguin | 8.26 x 5.23in | 18 - AND UP
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In 1931 Hawai‘i, Thalia Massie, the aristocratic wife of a naval officer, accused five nonwhite men of gang rape. When the trial ended in a hung jury, Thalia’s mother arranged for one of the suspects to be murdered—an act sanctioned by sympathetic whites as an “honor killing.” The ensuing murder trial, Clarence Darrow’s last, enthralled the nation and exposed the shocking realities of a Hawaiian “paradise.” This is the riveting story behind one of the pivotal scandals of American history.


1. Nothing but Trouble
2. Paradise of the Pacific
3. Something Awful Has Happened
4. Thalia's Story
5. Hell's Half Acre
6. Arrest
7. Rush to Judgement
8. Making News
9. Alibis and Accusations
10. Taking Sides
11. Grace and Tommie
12. On Trial
13. For the Defense
14. Lust-Sodden Beasts
15. The Shame of Honolulu
16. A Death in the Islands
17. Penthouse for a Prison
18. Tears of Heaven
19. Grand Jury
20. Attorney for the Damned
21. A Copper Minor's Son
22. Territory of Hawaii v. Fortescue et al.
23. Dementia Americana
24. Everybody Knows I Love You!
25. Where Is Kahahawai?
26. The Unwritten Law
27. Case Closed
28. Prelude to Revolution


Combines superb courtroom drama with a sweeping view of a lush world fed by unfettered power and clamorous racism. (New York Daily News)

First-rate history that works as a true-crime thriller and as a social and political history. (Bryan Burrough, coauthor of Barbarians at the Gate and author of Public Enemies)

Part true-crime thriller, part social history, and an absolute “page-turner” (Chicago Tribune)

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