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Black and Blue: African Americans, the Labor Movement, and the Decline of the Democratic Party (Princeton Studies in American Politics: Historical, International, and Comparative Perspectives) Paperback – June 27, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Winner of the 2009 Best Book Award in Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, American Political Science Association

"Black and Blue is an exceptional study of the relationships between the civil rights and labor movements during the second half of the twentieth century...His study of the particular details of this struggle, as well as the institutional circumstances that guided the struggle will be discussed for years to come."--Mark Graber, Balkinization

"Paul Frymer's Black and Blue is an important book, precisely because it takes what should be so obvious to scholars and makes it appear as such. At least since the mid-1980s, scholars have debated the 'rise and fall' of the labor-civil rights movement and its relationship to the power and authority of the Democratic party. Combining the methodologies of politics, the law, and history, Frymer's interdisciplinary work should help settle this long-running debate and contribute to new (and perhaps even more productive) avenues of inquiry."--Peter F. Lau, Journal of American History

"Black and Blue is a powerful demonstration of how a different theoretical paradigm can result in new interpretations of not only historical events, but current understandings of both racism and judicial legitimacy. Although there are many unanswered questions resulting from this intriguing book, it offers some fruitful new directions for the burgeoning scholarship in intersectionality, as well as continuing in the traditions of American Political Development and New Institutionalism."--Michelle D. Deardorff, Law and Politics Book Review

"[T]his is an exceptionally interesting book. Frymer makes new arguments, uses fresh evidence, and addresses important questions. He casts new light on the historical relationship between labor and the civil rights movement."--Michael P. Hanagan, American Journal of Sociology

"Black and Blue is an important contribution to the interdisciplinary literature on race and the U.S. labor movement. Its evidence is fresh and stimulating, its arguments original and compelling, and its conclusions matter. This is a book not only scholars but also activists should read."--Nancy MacLean, Industrial and Labor Relations Review

"Frymer fruitfully subjects courts to the kind of institutional analysis generally reserved for the political branches. His conclusion that the New Deal led to a new role for courts as agents of, rather than checks on, state-building is one ripe for historical elaboration. That his focus on the changing role of the courts may obscure changes occurring elsewhere in government and society should not deter historians from engaging with this excellent book."--Sophia Z. Lee, Journal of Law and History Review

"The story Frymer tells in this slender volume is a provocative and essential one. . . . [A] fine and thoughtful book."--James Wolfinger, The Historian

"Paul Frymer has written a book that deserves to take its place as one of the canonical texts for students and scholars interested in exploring the troubled intersection of race and class in American political development (APD). . . . Black and Blue is an ambitious and well-executed project that enhances our understanding of its subject."--Janice Fine, Perspectives on Politics

From the Back Cover

"This book will be the standard and basic book for generations to come. It will be and is the sine qua non for serious scholars in this area."--William Gould, former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board

"Institutional structures matter. Paul Frymer shows how misleading it is to see 'the national government' as an undifferentiated whole. Instead, its division into separate branches, cabinet departments, agencies, and commissions has profound consequences for the actualities of public policy. Frymer offers constant illumination of the consequences for labor unions and racial-justice advocates of this almost 'anarchic' organization, but the basic insights of the book apply even more broadly."--Sanford Levinson, author of Our Undemocratic Constitution

"A major book by an important scholar, Paul Frymer's carefully researched and elegantly constructed account of the struggle for racial equality in the American workplace clearly exposes the tensions and contradictions that attended this struggle. It will be widely read and have a substantial impact on the field."--Robert C. Lieberman, Columbia University, author of Shaping Race Policy

"Paul Frymer has written a fascinating, provocative, and original contribution to debates on the labor movement and race in the twentieth century. The book covers ground few scholars have dealt with, while also drawing synthetically and fruitfully on a rich literature."--Eric Arnesen, University of Illinois at Chicago

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Black and Blue: African Americans, the Labor Movement, and the Decline of the Democratic Party (Princeton Studies in American Politics: Historical, International, and Comparative Perspectives)
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