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Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia (Gender and American Culture) Paperback – December 18, 2000


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Frequently Bought Together

Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia (Gender and American Culture) + Managing White Supremacy: Race, Politics, and Citizenship in Jim Crow Virginia + Old Dominion, New Commonwealth: A History of Virginia, 1607-2007
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Product Details

  • Series: Gender and American Culture
  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (December 18, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807849014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807849019
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,217,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"BEFORE JIM CROW is an elegant, often sardonic study of the Readjuster movement." -- TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

Book Description

"A nicely written and sharply observed study, which adds theoretical precision and empirical substance to the growing body of scholarship that treats race as a socially constructed, rather than a 'natural,' category of historical analysis."--Journal of American Studies

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia, Jane Dailey argues that the Jim Crow South was a direct result of "white southerners' specific and concrete encounters with black social, economic and political power" (2). Dailey utilizes congressional records, correspondence, newspapers and periodicals, court dockets, contemporary prose, minefields of secondary sources, and the personal papers of William Mahone. In her attempt to explain the instability of social categories - political, gender and racial - and their interrelationship of identification, Dailey shows how Virginia formed ideas about race and how these functioned politically within a specific context. White and black southerners dissatisfied with local national parties, found commonality in class status, civil rights and downplayed race in the interracial political coalition of Readjusters. Before Jim Crow presents the legacy of the Readjuster movement thematically through the topics of honor, liberalism, deference, and identity.
Dailey argues against those who believe African American votes were meaningless in post Reconstruction South; it was the success of black men in politics led to their eventual exclusion from public authority. Dailey aims to further the C. Van Woodward thesis about the fluidity of southern race relations generally focused on electoral politics. She argues against historians who suggest the Woodward thesis applies only to politics by demonstrating that politics cannot be divorced from other social domains. By examining southern politics, through a focus on agency and context, Dailey shows the fluidity of racial identity and that white dominance was continuously re-created rather than a product that was simply perpetuated.
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By showmegrad on December 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting read about Virginia's Readjuster Party and its efforts to create multiracial coalition to effect the reform of the political landscape of Virginia. A piece of history that's needed to be heard for a long time, for it puts to rest the inevitability of racial tension in the post Civil War world, both North and South. It reaffirms that race is merely a man-made social construct and let's face it, we've made plenty of mistakes. The people in the book seem to recognize that, or at least tried to. Worthwhile reading!
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Format: Paperback
I teach Southern and African American history to large numbers of students, some of them local citizens, many undergrads at NCCU & UNC & Duke, still others aspiring ministers and local teachers. Nearly all share is an inability to imagine a successful bi-racial political coalition in the 19th and early 20th century US South. Unconsciously wedded to the unjustified notion that history moves in an inevitable arc toward progress, students have a hard time imagining that Southerns of the 1870s & 1880s South could build interracial coalitions that citizens of the 1970s & 1980s never achieved. Jane Dailey's brilliant book on VA's Readjuster movement of the 1870s & 1880s cuts through ingrained assumptions with clarity and wit. Her style is clever and clear. These movements happened across the South, more successfully in VA and later NC. Imagining them is not only necessary to understand Southern history but to imagine an American future not riven by permanent racial divides. A profound and pleasing work of history by a cutting-edge scholar.
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By SBG on February 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
this book has stood the test of time -- it still tells us much that we didn't know about race int post-emancipation Virginia. the research is deep, the analysis careful, and the writing elegant. the topic is a complex and difficult one, yet the author handles the material brilliantly. it is on many reading lists for phd students in american history, as it deserves to be.
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