Books/Authors
Chris Voss Podcast – A Shot in the Moonlight: How a Freed Slave and a Confederate Soldier Fought for Justice in the Jim Crow South by Ben Montgomery

Chris Voss Podcast – A Shot in the Moonlight: How a Freed Slave and a Confederate Soldier Fought for Justice in the Jim Crow South by Ben Montgomery

A Shot in the Moonlight: How a Freed Slave and a Confederate Soldier Fought for Justice in the Jim Crow South by Ben Montgomery

The sensational true story of George Dinning, a freed slave, who in 1899 joined forces with a Confederate war hero in search of justice in the Jim Crow south. “Taut and tense. Inspiring and terrifying in its timelessness.”(Colson Whitehead, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad )

Named a most anticipated book of 2021 by O, The Oprah Magazine
Named a “must-read” by the Chicago Review of Books
One of CNN’s most anticipated books of 2021 

After moonrise on the cold night of January 21, 1897, a mob of twenty-five white men gathered in a patch of woods near Big Road in southwestern Simpson County, Kentucky. Half carried rifles and shotguns, and a few tucked pistols in their pants. Their target was George Dinning, a freed slave who’d farmed peacefully in the area for 14 years, and who had been wrongfully accused of stealing livestock from a neighboring farm. When the mob began firing through the doors and windows of Dinning’s home, he fired back in self-defense, shooting and killing the son of a wealthy Kentucky family.

So began one of the strangest legal episodes in American history — one that ended with Dinning becoming the first Black man in America to win damages after a wrongful murder conviction.

Drawing on a wealth of never-before-published material, bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize finalist Ben Montgomery resurrects this dramatic but largely forgotten story, and the unusual convergence of characters — among them a Confederate war hero-turned-lawyer named Bennett H. Young, Kentucky governor William O’Connell Bradley, and George Dinning himself — that allowed this unlikely story of justice to unfold in a time and place where justice was all too rare.

About Ben Montgomery
Ben Montgomery is author of the New York Times-bestselling ‘Grandma Gatewood’s Walk,’ winner of a 2014 Outdoor Book Award, ‘The Leper Spy,’ ‘The Man Who Walked Backward,’ and ‘A Shot in the Moonlight,” coming January 2021. He spent most of his 20 year newspaper career as an enterprise reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. He founded the narrative journalism website Gangrey.com and helped launch the Auburn Chautauqua, a Southern writers collective.

In 2010, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting and won the Dart Award and Casey Medal for a series called “For Their Own Good,” about abuse at Florida’s oldest reform school.

Montgomery grew up in Oklahoma and studied journalism at Arkansas Tech University, where he played defensive back for the football team, the Wonder Boys. He worked for the Courier in Russellville, Ark., the Standard-Times in San Angelo, Texas, the Times Herald-Record in New York’s Hudson River Valley and the Tampa Tribune before joining the Times in 2006. He lives in Tampa.

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