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Thacker Mountain Host Jim Dees Releases Book, ‘The Statue and the Fury,’ Today

the-statue-and-the-fury-book-coverThe year 1997 was a wild one for Oxford, and now it’s a wild book. “The State and the Fury” (Nautilus Press), written by Thacker Mountain Radio Hour host Jim Dees, covers the crazy events of that year.

The book will be released today at a book launch party at 5 p.m. at Off Square Books, located at 129 Courthouse Square. Snacks and refreshments will be served and the public is invited.

Among the events chronicled in the book are: a magnolia tree cut down in front of City Hall to make room for a statue of William Faulkner sets off protests. Other trees cut to widen Jackson Avenue result in nine arrests of local citizens for blocking bulldozers. The University of Mississippi announced plans in 1997 to study the possible removal of the song “Dixie,” the confederate flag and the Colonel Rebel mascot. Death threats ensued and the FBI came to investigate. Notorious rap group 2Live Crew performed in Oxford, which resulted in nudity on stage and the arrests of three club promoters.

Dees worked as a cub reporter for the local paper, the Oxford Eagle, and covered all these events, and more.

“I saved all my notebooks, interview tapes – everything, because I knew I would write about it all someday,” Dees said. “I just didn’t know it would take me twenty years.”

Rheta Grimsley Johnson, columnist for the Northeast Miss. Daily Journal, said, “’The Statue and the Fury’ may be the best thing I’ve read out of Mississippi in a long while.”

UM professor and Edgar Award-winning novelist Tom Franklin, added, “I’ve been a fan of Dees’ writing for years, and this is the book I’ve been waiting for.”

“The Statue and the Fury” is now available at Square Books and other bookstores as well as online.

For questions or comments, email hottytoddynews@gmail.com.

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