"Eighty-five years ago the murder of Mary Phagan and the subsequent trial and lynching of the accused killer, Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager from the North, was the event that prompted B'nai B'rith to found the Anti-Defamation League. Dinnerstein not only tells the story of Phagan's and Frank's deaths, but he also places Frank's trial and lynching in the context of a rapidly changing southern society."
"The author's thorough research, his careful organization of the findings, his cautious and dispassionate appraisal presented in lean and readable prose, all combine to inspire confidence that historians now have as nearly as they shall ever have the complete account of this tragedy."
—Journal of American History
The events surrounding the 1913 murder of the young Atlanta factory worker Mary Phagan and the subsequent lynching of Leo Frank, the transplanted northern Jew who was her employer and accused killer, were so wide ranging and tumultuous that they prompted both the founding of B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation League and the revival of the Ku Klux Klan. The Leo Frank Case was the first comprehensive account of not only Phagan’s murder and Frank’s trial and lynching but also the sensational newspaper coverage, popular hysteria, and legal demagoguery that surrounded these events.
Forty years after the book first appeared, and more than ninety years after the deaths of Phagan and Frank, it remains a gripping account of injustice. In his preface to the revised edition, Leonard Dinnerstein discusses the ongoing cultural impact of the Frank affair.