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Download God’ll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample God’ll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi, by John Safran Click for printable size audiobook cover
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God’ll Cut You Down combines an unlikely journalist, a murder case in Mississippi, and a fascinating literary true crime story in the style of Jon Ronson.

A notorious white supremacist named Richard Barrett was brutally murdered in Mississippi in 2010 by a young black man named Vincent McGee. At first the murder seemed a twist on old Deep South race crimes. But then new revelations and complications came to light. Maybe it was a dispute over money rather than race—or, maybe and intriguingly, over sex.

John Safran, a young white Jewish Australian documentarian, had been in Mississippi and interviewed Barrett for a film on race. When he learned of Barrett’s murder, he returned to find out what happened and became caught up in the twists and turns of the case. During his time in Mississippi, Safran got deeper and deeper into this gothic southern world, becoming entwined in the lives of those connected with the murder—white separatist frenemies, black lawyers, police investigators, oddball neighbors, the stunned families, even the killer himself. And the more he talked with them, the less simple the crime—and the people involved—seemed to be. In the end, he discovered how profoundly and indelibly complex the truth about someone’s life—and death—can be.

This is a brilliant, haunting, hilarious, unsettling story about race, money, sex, and power in the modern American South from an outsider’s point of view.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A hilarious and bizarre story that leads where you least expect it. John Safran has for years been one of my favorite journalists—forever pushing the boundaries, funny, startling, a hurricane.”

    Jon Ronson,  New York Times bestselling author of The Psychopath Test

  • “John Safran’s captivating inquiry into a murder in darkest Mississippi is by turns informative, frightening, and hilarious. It is enlivened by a swarm of creepy locals and a torrent of astonishing details—such as hedge clippers put to surgical use in the performance of an official autopsy.”

    John Berendt,  New York Times bestselling author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

  • “A murdered white supremacist sparks a remarkable investigation that is anything but straightforward…Weaving a tale that is simultaneously about race, failed systems, money, sex, family, and simple rage, Safran truly did lose a year in Mississippi, and getting lost with him is a joy.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Originally published in Australia as Murder in Mississippi in 2013, this stranger-than-fiction true crime story finds Safran—a white, Jewish documentary filmmaker from Australia—relocating to Rankin County, Mississippi, to dig deep into the grisly stabbing murder of a sixty-seven-year-old white supremacist in April 2010…The result is a bizarrely unsettling yet often witty book that paints a disturbing picture of the deep South today.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Funny and gripping and wonderfully weird.”

    Louis Theroux, BBC journalist

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week for November, 2014
  • A New York Times Bestseller
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About the Author

John Safran is an award-winning documentarian and radio storyteller on a wide range of subjects, including the media, religion, and race. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.