Policy Review and the Hoover Institution were well matched. They shared a commitment to free and rigorous inquiry into the American condition, into the workings of government and of our political and economic systems and those of others, and into the role of the United States in the world. They both brought together scholars with an interest in current affairs and journalists interested in exploring our world in greater depth. They both take up topics not as exercises in theory, but for the purpose of better understanding the world and the betterment of people's lives. They both are committed to civil discourse, the airing of reasoned disagreement, and a vigorous and open debate. They both are diligently independent, not least in affirming and guarding the independence of those associated with them in the community of informed discussion.
Claude Neal was 23 — a farmhand in Jackson County, Fla., who in 1934 was accused of raping and killing his white boss’s 20-year-old daughter, Lola Cannady. He was moved from jail to jail so white lynch mobs wouldn’t find him before the trial. But eventually they tracked him down in Alabama, holding the jailer at gunpoint and absconding with Neal. The news of his capture attracted a bloodthirsty crowd of as many as 3,000. Lest a riot ensue and someone get hurt — someone besides Neal — he was lynched by a group of six, who then dragged him behind a car to the Cannadys’ farm, where Lola’s family members took turns slashing and shooting his corpse. Onlookers stabbed at it, spit on it, ran their cars over it. His body was then driven back to town and strung up in an oak so that the full mob could have its way. People skinned him. His fingers were cut off and, eventually, jarred. He was set on fire.