The Past Is Never Dead

The Trial of James Ford Seale and Mississippi's Struggle for Redemption

By Harry N. MacLean
(Basic Civitas Books, Hardcover, 9780465005048, 290pp.)

Publication Date: September 2009

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A dramatic courtroom thriller that tests the bounds of redemption for the racial sins of the American South, by the best-selling author of In Broad Daylight

About the Author
Harry MacLean is a lawyer and writer living in Denver, Colorado. His first book was "In Broad Daylight," published by Harper Collins. This book tells the story of the killing of a town bully on the main street of a small town in northwest Missouri. It won an Edgar Award for Best True Crime and was a New York Times Bestseller for 12 weeks. Brian Denehey stars as the bully in the movie version. "In Broad Daylight" became available as an e-book July 2012. MacLean's second book was "Once Upon A Time, a True Story of Memory, Murder and the Law." Also published by Harper Collins, it tells the true story of a man on trial for murder based solely on his daughter's "repressed memory" of witnessing him murder her playmate 20 years earlier. "Once Upon a Time" was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Basic Books published his third book, "The Past Is Never Dead, The Trial of James Ford Seale and Mississippi's Search for Redemption," which was shortlisted for the William Saroyan Award, given by Stanford University. MacLean released his true crime short "The Story Behind 'In Broad Daylight, '" in January, 2013. The book includes nine pages of previously unpublished pictures. MacLean's first career was as a lawyer. He graduated from the University of Denver College of Law, magna cum laude, and also received a master's degree in Law and Sociology from DU. He worked as a trial lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission and as a magistrate in Denver Juvenile Court. He taught as an Adjunct Professor at DU Law. He served as First Assistant Attorney General for the state of Colorado, and as General Counsel of the Peace Corp during the Carter Administration. For the past twenty years he has worked as a labor arbitrator and book author. His new book, a novel entitled "The Joy of Killing," is set for release July 14, 2015. It has been described as a literary thriller, a psychological thriller and a philosophical thriller. It has also been favorably compared to "American Psycho." A man seeking clarity in his life, uncovers the possibility of his involvement in gruesome cremes. Connect with him at

Saturday, Oct 3, 2009

Forty-five years ago, the bodies of two young black men turned up, brutally mangled, in a tributary of the Mississippi River. In a new book, author Harry MacLean explores the trial of reputed Klansman James Ford Seale for the murders decades later — and Mississippi's continued struggle with its racial history. More at

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