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The Strange Career of Jim Crow (1955)

by C. Vann Woodward

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938517,709 (4.04)23
C. Vann Woodward, who died in 1999 at the age of 91, was America's most eminent Southern historian, the winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Mary Chestnut's Civil War and a Bancroft Prize for The Origins of the New South. Now, to honor his long and truly distinguished career, Oxford is pleased to publish this special commemorative edition of Woodward's most influential work, The Strange Career of Jim Crow. The Strange Career of Jim Crow is one of the great works of Southern history. Indeed, the book actually helped shape that history. Published in 1955, a year after the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education ordered schools desegregated, Strange Career was cited so often to counter arguments for segregation that Martin Luther King, Jr. called it "the historical Bible of the civil rights movement." The book offers a clear and illuminating analysis of the history of Jim Crow laws, presenting evidence that segregation in the South dated only to the 1890s. Woodward convincingly shows that, even under slavery, the two races had not been divided as they were under the Jim Crow laws of the 1890s. In fact, during Reconstruction, there was considerable economic and political mixing of the races. The segregating of the races was a relative newcomer to the region. Hailed as one of the top 100 nonfiction works of the twentieth century, The Strange Career of Jim Crow has sold almost a million copies and remains, in the words of David Herbert Donald, "a landmark in the history of American race relations."… (more)
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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
I hate to say that I got bored with the book so after 32 pages I gave up. ( )
  JerseyGirl21 | Jan 24, 2016 |
Donation from Monica Tetzlaff, July 24, 2013.
  iusbcrhc | Jul 24, 2013 |
I was appalled when I read that some of the manipulative figures featured in this book deliberately produced racist propaganda, in which they did not truly believe, that undid any gains in civil rights and racial tolerance that resulted from Reconstruction. Not that I thought such cynical behavior is beyond pundits or politicians, but I had the general impression from history classes and other sources that the majority of Southern whites simply would not accept equal rights for the former slaves for decades after the Civl War, and that the deterioration of gains enforced during Reconstruction was inevitable after the federal troops left. The revelation that a better society had emerged and could have continued had not the selfish ambitions for short-term political goals led to overwhelming horror is devastating. ( )
2 vote MHelm1017 | Dec 31, 2010 |
2735 The Strange Career of Jim Crow Second Revised Edition, by C. Vann Woodward (read 22 Apr 1995) This was a famous book of lectures in 1955. This edition was published in 1966. It is a stirring work, and the chapters on the decline and legal fall of Jim Crow in the years since 1945 are eminently attention-holding. I have read more modern books, telling the whole stirring story of the Civil Rights Movement, most notably Parting the Waters and Bearing the Cross, but this work, though short, sweeps one up. Woodward is an able and right-thinking man, or was. Well worth reading, even at this late date. ( )
  Schmerguls | Mar 9, 2008 |
This was a required reading for my college credit American History class in high school, and it was particularly illuminating to a boy who had come from small-town Ohio and only spoken to one black person in his life. The book is a classic of American race relations, covering the genesis and history of the "Jim Crow" laws and practices which sprang up across America after the Civil War into modern times. The laws are off the books now, but many of the attitudes and customs remain, and this book helps the reader understand why. ( )
1 vote burnit99 | Feb 26, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. Vann Woodwardprimary authorall editionscalculated
McFeely, William S.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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C. Vann Woodward, who died in 1999 at the age of 91, was America's most eminent Southern historian, the winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Mary Chestnut's Civil War and a Bancroft Prize for The Origins of the New South. Now, to honor his long and truly distinguished career, Oxford is pleased to publish this special commemorative edition of Woodward's most influential work, The Strange Career of Jim Crow. The Strange Career of Jim Crow is one of the great works of Southern history. Indeed, the book actually helped shape that history. Published in 1955, a year after the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education ordered schools desegregated, Strange Career was cited so often to counter arguments for segregation that Martin Luther King, Jr. called it "the historical Bible of the civil rights movement." The book offers a clear and illuminating analysis of the history of Jim Crow laws, presenting evidence that segregation in the South dated only to the 1890s. Woodward convincingly shows that, even under slavery, the two races had not been divided as they were under the Jim Crow laws of the 1890s. In fact, during Reconstruction, there was considerable economic and political mixing of the races. The segregating of the races was a relative newcomer to the region. Hailed as one of the top 100 nonfiction works of the twentieth century, The Strange Career of Jim Crow has sold almost a million copies and remains, in the words of David Herbert Donald, "a landmark in the history of American race relations."

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