Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases by Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1892)

This leaflet is a chilling reminder of America’s past when lynchings were commonplace. The author cited multiple newspaper articles that apologized for and encouraged the lynchings without trial. The unethical press distorted the facts to reinforce the 19th century beliefs of black inferiority and barbarism. To make matters worse black newspapers were pushed out of business for publishing articles condemning the unfair lynchings. The darkest point comes at the end when the author suggested that every black man should own a Winchester rifle to protect himself from the police and the lynching mobs. She cited multiple cases where the only reason an accused black man had a fair trial was by some desperate act of self defense. Learn from history by reading Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases.

 

free audiobook download: https://librivox.org/southern-horrors-by-ida-b-wells/

free ebook download: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/14975

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Rock Crystal by Adalbert Stifter (1845)

Step inside an enchanting, cinematic winter tale. This short story follows two children on Christmas Eve as they travel to grandma’s house. They hike through the beautifully lush mountains for a delicious dinner and a little holiday surprise. Grab a candy cane, warm up the hot cocoa, and read Rock Crystal.

 

free audiobook download: https://librivox.org/rock-crystal-by-adalbert-stifter/

The Great Taxicab Robbery by James H. Collins (1912)

Here is a glimpse into the daily routine of New York Police Department and the lives of a band of criminals over a hundred years ago. Two things caught my eye throughout the story, sensational journalism and dubious lie detection. Multiple times the author criticizes the New York press for overreacting to the absence of immediate arrests and visible police investigation. A smart reminder that newspapers and periodicals were just as likely to print half true, provocative headlines in the past as they do today. At the end of the story watch for some unscientific lie detection. The commissioner seems aware that these devices and ruses are bogus. Instead, these “lie detectors” are used as psychological leverage during interrogation.

A sensation swept through New York City on February 15, 1912. In the middle of the day, a taxi carrying $25,000 from bank to bank was stopped and robbed. Five men were seen escaping with the money in an unidentified black motorcar. Slowly and methodically the case is solved and all the criminals involved are arrested. See the world through the eyes of the police force by reading this account of The Great Taxicab Robbery.

free audiobook download: https://librivox.org/the-great-taxicab-robbery-by-james-h-collins/

free ebook download: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/53145

The Calico Cat by Charles Miner Thompson(1908)

Sometimes a character gets stuck in the mud. Every time they try to get out of trouble they accidentally jump head first deeper and deeper into trouble. This funny little story perfectly illustrates that very situation.

Solomon is excited about his new post on the local grand jury. Here is a job that could in his opinion propel him into a prominent political office. A moment of anger gets him stuck in the mud and he spends the rest of the story trying to leap out of it to no avail. Here’s some advice. Try not to get provoked by The Calico Cat.

 

free audiobook download: https://librivox.org/the-calico-cat-by-charles-miner-thompson/

free ebook download: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20010

Mob Rule in New Orleans by Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1900)

This is a disturbing read. With incredible directness and absence of colorful language this little pamphlet describes the horrible events committed by mobs in and around New Orleans. The utter disregard for the lives of black people and the complete disdain for the rule of law is shocking when looked at in a modern context. Common law concepts such as innocence until proven guilty and freedom of speech were continually ignored. At the same time, the atrocities attributed to the mob didn’t result in any arrests whatsoever.

Robert Charles and his friend are sitting out in front of house when they are accosted by three officers. His friend submits to the unwarranted arrest while Robert fights back and flees the scene. What follows is a citywide manhunt that results in the death of Robert Charles and a dozen police officers and citizens. As a result of this bloodshed mobs form around New Orleans killing innocent black people indiscriminately. Ida B. Wells-Barnett crafts a patchwork of local news articles and interviews to paint the terrible scene. Learn from the past by picking up Mob Rule in New Orleans.

 

free audiobook download: https://librivox.org/mob-rule-in-new-orleans-by-ida-b-wells-barnett/

free ebook download: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/14976

Jill the Reckless by P.G. Wodehouse (1920)

Another superb comedy authored by Mr. Wodehouse. Just when a thread starts to tangle it gets stitched back in seamlessly making you wonder how you didn’t see its inevitable conclusion earlier. The dialogue is quaint, quick, snappy and a real treat. No chapter feels forced and everything moves along at the pace of a happy golden retriever. Jill the Reckless is a ripe and refreshing little tale.

You begin at the beginning with Jill slated to meet her fiances mother, a cruel and usual woman. Through a series of mistakes and mishaps Jill makes a dreadful mess of this introduction and all of Mrs. Underhills fears are realized in the tiny stature that is Jill Mariner. From here we glide to and fro following Jill as she tries to make her way in the world. Jill must rely on her sharp wit and reckless instinct to make the best of every unforeseen situation. Quickly sneak out the back with Jill the Reckless.

 

free audiobook download: https://librivox.org/jill-the-reckless-by-p-g-wodehouse/

free ebook download: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20533