(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020)

The life and times of a militant white supremacist, written by one of his offspring, National Book Award–winner Edward Ball. Life of a Klansman tells the story of white supremacy in one family in Louisiana and follows its swell into a tide of racial violence. 


(Doubleday, 2013)

The story of the partnership between the murderer who invented the movies, photographer Eadweard Muybridge, and the robber baron who built the railroads, California governor Leland Stanford.

(Simon & Schuster, 2007)

An investigation, using DNA analysis, into one family’s genetic and racial past. After finding an ancient collection of his family's hair hidden in an antique desk—a trove from the 1800s kept by a long-dead cousin—Edward Ball recruits several gene scientists to extract DNA from the ancestral tresses and analyze it for signs of disease, mental illness, and markers that suggest "race mixing."

(Simon & Schuster, 2004)

The life of English writer Gordon Hall, who in 1967 underwent gender transition and "sex reassignment" surgery, becoming Dawn Hall, a rich white woman living in the Deep South. Harassed and ostracized, Dawn Hall deepened her pariah status when she married a black deliveryman and produced a mixed-race daughter whom she claimed was her biological child. 

(William Morrow, 2001)

The Sweet Hell Inside recounts 100 years in the life of a wealthy black family in the South, the Harlestons—progeny of a white Southern gentleman and his enslaved black cook—who rose from the ashes of the Civil War to create a dynasty in art and music during the Jazz Age.

(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998)

The story of the author's family, major slaveholders for 170 years, and the histories of ten African American families once enslaved on the Ball family's rice plantations. Edward Ball's account of his search for and meetings with descendants of his ancestors' slaves won the National Book Award for nonfiction, became a New York Times bestseller, and is widely read more than twenty years after publication.