Live Stream: Connor Towne O'Neill presents Down Along with That Devil's Bone, in conversation with Caleb Johnson

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Connor Towne O’Neill’s journey onto the battlefield of white supremacy began with a visit to Selma, Alabama, in 2015. There he had a chance encounter with a group of people preparing to erect a statue to celebrate the memory of Nathan Bedford Forrest, one of the most notorious Confederate generals, a man whom Union general William Tecumseh Sherman referred to as “that devil.” After that day in Selma, O’Neill, a white Northerner transplanted to the South, decided to dig deeply into the history of Forrest and other monuments to him throughout the South, which, like Confederate monuments across America, have become flashpoints in the fight against racism.
 Forrest was not just a brutal general, O’Neill learned; he was a slave trader and the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. O’Neill encountered citizens who still hold Forrest in cult-like awe, desperate to preserve what they call their “heritage,” and he also talked to others fighting to tear the monuments down. In doing so he discovered a direct line from Forrest’s ugly history straight to the heart of the battles raging today all across America. The fight over Forrest reveals a larger battle, one meant to sustain white supremacy—a system that props up all white people, not just those defending the monuments. With clear-eyed passion and honest introspection, O’Neill takes readers on a journey to understand the many ways in which the Civil War, begun in 1860, has never ended.
A brilliant and provocative blend of history, reportage, and personal essay, Down Along with That Devil’s Bones presents an important and eye-opening account of how we got from Appomattox to Charlottesville, and of our vital need to confront our past in order to transcend it and move toward a more just society.

Connor Towne O’Neill’s writing has appeared in New York magazine, VultureSlateRBMA, and the Village Voice, and he works as a producer on the NPR podcast White Lies. Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, he lives in Auburn, Alabama, where he teaches at Auburn University and with the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project. This is his first book.

Caleb Johnson is the author of Treeborne (Picador), which received an honorable mention for the Southern Book Prize and was longlisted for The Crook's Corner Book Prize. He earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Wyoming, and fellowships from the Sewanee Writers' Conference and The Jentel Foundation. His work appears in The Paris Review Daily, Southern Living, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. He teaches at Appalachian State University while working on his next novel. 

Event date: 
Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Virtual event
Down Along with That Devil's Bones: A Reckoning with Monuments, Memory, and the Legacy of White Supremacy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643752037
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Algonquin Books - September 28th, 2021

Treeborne: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250169105
Availability: Not Currently On Our Shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days.
Published: Picador - May 7th, 2019

SKU: x672389