Almost 30 years before 9/11, John Edgar Wideman published his third novel, a revolutionary and controversial story about four African-American men who hatch a terrorist plot to shake a complacent America to its foundations. They see their plan to lynch a white cop as the ultimate symbolic act of protest in a racist, hypocritical society mired in fundamental inequalities that contradict its "Home of the Free" credo. Critic Saunders Redding raved, "It is all here…the history of Negro America raised to the grandeur of superb fiction, as Tolstoy did it for the history of the Russian people in the Napoleonic era in War and Peace. I think The Lynchers is far and away the truest, the most moving, and the most brilliantly crafted novel of Negro life in almost a quarter of a century—that is, since Ellison’s Invisible Man, which in some ways it surpasses."
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