To Die Game - review
I recently finished re-reading To Die Game, a scholarly history book, that covers the Lowry War fought in Robeson County North Carolina from 1865 to 1872. American Indians, Blacks, and whites joined together and shot it out with the racist forces of oppression trying to cancel the progressive result of the Civil War.
I re-read the book because it served as an excellent research book for backgrounding a novel that I’ve had in the works since 2009. I know that’s a lot of years to be messing around with a novel. Anyway, unlike a lot of academic works this one is beautifully written.
Until recently, I had been unable to find much about the author, William McKee Evans. He passed on at the age of 94 in 2017 and is buried in the same place he was born, Robeson County, North Carolina – the heartland of the Lowry War. Apparently Evans was inspired to research and write the book based on stories told by a family member who lived through the Lowry War.
How were a disparate group of armed working class heroes able to maintain a protracted Robin Hood war against the wealthy and racist elite? The same way the Eighth Route Army did in Mao’s China – guerrilla war with strong support of the people.
But I digress. I re-read To Die Game for the novel-in-progress I mentioned, The Lowry Gang. However, I wound up using the material for a new novella, The Rifles, the Rebel, and The Lowry Gang. It’s just part of the serpentine process that seems to flow through all writers.
To Die Game makes excellent reading for anyone interested in the structural basis of racism in the USA. It describes a period of history not unlike today’s unfolding drama in the streets of the Psychotic Atomik Empire.
Check out my soon-to-be-released e-book of Chicago short stories, An Infinity of Days in the Psychotic Atomik Empire. Free for a limited time. If you want the paperback, the book was first published at Plain View Press in 2007. My e-book, There Ain’t No Justice, Just Us is available at Xlibris. Gregory Alan Norton