I am trying to find out about John H. Crabb. Crabb wrote a historical novel entitled In the Crescent's Dark Shadow in 1952.

More specifically, I am trying to find out more about the life of John H. Crabb. What did he do for a living? Was he a professor? There does not seem to be anything online about him. His novel is important for my research, but I don't know anything about the author. A search on WorldCat.org indicates that Crabb wrote a number of other books.

  • Just out of snoopy curiosity: where & when is this novel set? Is it any good? Why are you interested in it? Jan 30 at 19:56
  • @kimchilover According to this page: "SCARCE historical novel, a tale of adventure and romance involving Albania and the Terrible Turk." Perhaps the titular crescent refers to a (possibly racist?) depiction of Turkey or the Ottoman Empire.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 30 at 21:57

2 Answers 2


The Library of Congress Name Authority File record for Crabb, John H., 1922- identifies two of his works as In the crescent's dark shadow (1952) and The legal system of Congo-Kinshasa (1970).

The latter of these works has been digitized at the Internet Archive.

On the title page, John H. Crabb is identified as Professor of Law, Georgetown University.

cover page, legal system of Congo-Kinshasa

In the preface, written by the author, he explains that he was a visiting professor at Lovanium University at Kinshasa from 1964 to 1966.

preface of book

A 1959 publication on the history of the law school at the University of North Dakota contains a portrait photo of John H. Crabb, probably taken around 1957, when he joined the UND Law faculty. This same publication states that Crabb was a graduate of the University of Michigan.

portrait of Crabb

In 1978, John H. Crabb was teaching in Paris.

In the fall semester of 1958, John Crabb was a Fulbright Scholar to Guatemala.

A 1964 article by John H. Crabb provides the dates of his degrees: A.B., 1943, Michigan; M.A., 1954, Detroit; LL.B., 1948, Harvard Law.

The 1943 University of Michigan Proceedings gives the full name of the 1943 graduate as John Holland Crabb.

A 1942 draft card for John Holland Crabb from Michigan gives his birthdate as August 7, 1922.

draft card

A French database of 2004 deaths contains a listing for the death of an American, John Crabb, born 19220807 (in ISO 8601 format), died 20040620.

The Ancestry transcription of the encoded death list gives his place of death as Saint-Julien-En-Genevois, Haute-Savoie, France.

death transcription

  • 5
    Are we 100% sure that it was the same John H. Crabb who wrote both of those books? Some bibliographic databases will automatically clump together works of different authors with the same name; it's something I've seen in academic research, but maybe the Library of Congress database is more careful? I hate to cast a shadow on such a fantastically well-researched answer, but I just had this moment of doubt when seeing that so much of your information relies on the assumption that the OP's book has the same author as that other book.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 30 at 8:33
  • @Randal'Thor This eBay auction has some good pictures of the front and back matter of the sci-fi book, but there doesn’t seem to be any information about the author, so it may be impossible to say for sure. Crabb certainly seems to have published a lot of purely legal books and texts, which might indicate that they’re two different people; on the other hand, the publisher says they’re especially for people who can’t get traditional publishing deals, so it could have been just a youthful one-off project of his… Jan 31 at 12:19
  • @JanusBahsJacquet sci-fi ? Looks like historical fiction; worldcat says about Skanderbeg. Jan 31 at 19:01
  • @kimchilover Er, yeah, not sure where sci-fi came from there… the cover in the images doesn’t even vaguely resemble a sci-fi cover. Brainfart on my part. Jan 31 at 20:22
  • Thanks for the link to the book on ebay. There's still not enough info to tell one way or the other. Perhaps at this point only AI could tell whether the books are by the same author, unless an old CV of Crabb's could be found somewhere.
    – shoover
    Feb 1 at 0:05

John Crabb was my great uncle. I have a lot of fond memories of him when he came home to visit from overseas. Wonderful man but quite eccentric.

  • 3
    Can you confirm whether, as per the other post, it's the same guy who wrote both books? May 15 at 12:00

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