(Starred Review) "In this passionate account of Jim Crow–era injustice, educator and activist Morrison exposes how courtrooms 'could function like lynch mobs when the defendant was black.'... Morrison, who is white, shares this painful story with clarity and compassion, emphasizing how much has changed since the 1930s, how much white people need to 'critically interrogate' the past, and how much 'remains to be done' in the fight for justice."
-- Publishers Weekly
"The author deserves praise for identifying Peterson’s trial as an important precursor to the 1960s civil rights movement. Audiences will be enthralled and angered by this all-too-familiar account of a criminal justice system that was and remains biased against black Americans."
-- Karl Helicher Foreword Reviews
"Morrison digs deeply into period newspapers and archives to uncover this story of injustice long overshadowed by the more famous Scottsboro Boys trial. A thoughtful look into a tale of prejudice and stolen justice that will find many readers who are interested in African American history, the early civil rights movement, and Southern history."
-- Chad E. Statler Library Journal
"Morrison’s book is an ultimate tribute to a man who is seldom mentioned in the Civil Rights Movement, but was a true civil rights hero and who despite torture and mental cruelty always proclaimed his innocence."
-- Bill Castanier Lansing City Pulse
"A straightforward, thoroughly researched nonfiction account of yet another disgraceful episode in Alabama racial history."
-- Don Noble Tuscaloosa News
"An important and timely book.”
-- James L. Baggett Birmingham Watch
"The book ends, as it begins, with a call to each of us to do our own work. In the afterword, poignantly written in the form of a letter to her late father, Morrison states the brutal truth: 'The demonization and criminalization of black men remains a national disgrace.' Eighty-seven years after Willie Peterson was targeted on a Birmingham street corner, there is still much work to be done. This book offers inspiration to keep at it."
-- Joyce Hollyday Sojourners
"iI shifting attention from Scottsboro's sleepy courthouse square to Birmingham's industrialized and highly stratified terrain, Morrison offers fresh perspective on the structural violence that undergirded white supremacy."
-- Jason Morgan Ward Southern Spaces
"Recounted in painstaking detail by Morrison, this near century-old case emerges as a precedent for contemporary discussions of racism in the criminal justice system, reaffirming how firmly rooted racial profiling and the criminalization of blackness are in American culture."
-- Ladee Hubbard TLS
"Morrison succeeds admirably in moving the literature beyond Scottsboro, which has garnered the lion’s share of historians’ attention. Morrison is at her best when she unearths legal records to explain how the criminal justice system was stacked against Peterson. . . . In Morrison’s hands, the Jim Crow justice system avoids caricature and emerges as a living, breathing system in which injustice is that much more evident and pernicious. . . . Compelling and beautifully written."
-- David A. Varel Journal of Southern History
"[Murder on Shades Mountain's] detailed narrative of one little-known crime and its aftermath is powerful and evocative and offers a revealing window into the workings of white supremacy—one that is even more dramatic in some ways than the story of the Scottsboro Boys. . . . Morrison’s work offers a critical reminder that whites must interrogate all the stories about race that they have inherited, even those of white advocates for racial justice."
-- Renee Romano American Historical Review
"Morrison forces the reader to grapple with the precarity of Black life in relation to white supremacist power structures like the criminal justice system.… Murder on Shades Mountain is a crucial text for tracing the genealogy of state-sanctioned anti-Black violence in America."
-- Denzel Shabazz Journal of African American History