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The Long, Lingering Shadow: Slavery, Race, and Law in the American Hemisphere (Studies in the Legal History of the South) Paperback – February 1, 2013

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in the Legal History of the South
  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press (February 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820344311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820344317
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Cottrol’s well-written book is a brilliant explication of the comparative treatment of persons of African ancestry in the western world. This is a must-read for those interested in the larger context of the black experience in the Western Hemisphere.”—Davison M. Douglas, author of Jim Crow Moves North: The Battle over Northern School Segregation, 1865–1954

“This book is an extremely important, groundbreaking work of comparative synthesis that will be a must-read for students of race in the United States as well as in Latin America. It will be the definitive book on the comparative history of race and law in the Americas.” —Ariela Gross, author of What Blood Won’t Tell: A History of Race on Trial in America

"A magisterial survey of the legal structures of race in the Americas from the 1500s through the present. Deftly comparing and contrasting Brazil, Spanish America, and the United States, Cottrol examines the legal underpinnings of racial inequality in those countries, the efforts over time to combat inequality, and the continuing challenges that all the societies of the Americas face in the twenty-first century. The result is a thoroughly impressive work of synthesis and comparison."—George Reid Andrews, author of Afro-Latin America, 1800–2000

"This study is an impressively researched, cogently argued, and highly nuanced examination of the sharp divergence in socio-legal attitudes toward slavery and race across the hemisphere of the Americas. Cottrol's impeccable sensitivity to changing time, place, circumstances, and social mores makes this a significant contribution to the growing literature on an extraordinarily complex theme. It will be welcome among serious scholars across many academic disciplines."—Franklin W. Knight, Stulman Professor of History and Director, Center for Africana Studies, Johns Hopkins University

"The legal history of slavery and race is a demanding subject, doubly so when pursued comparatively. Robert Cottrol rises to the challenge in this comprehensive and illuminating study of slavery, race, and law throughout the Americas, North and South. Spanning half a millennium—from the early modern era of Iberian and English colonization through the end of the twentieth century—Cottrol’s sure-footed book patiently guides the reader through a long and frequently bitter story of the Americas’ many varieties of racial exploitation, exclusion, and reform. Though always sensitive to the distinct institutional trajectories that slavery imprinted on different European colonies and their successor states and to the cultural multiplicity of race and law, Cottrol determinedly pursues answers to the 'big' questions—how to account for different patterns of race relations; how to relate contemporary race to bygone slavery. His book confirms the wisdom of Frank Tannenbaum’s observations, more than sixty years ago, that no matter where one encounters it, the history of slavery and race turns out to be largely a history of the laws that have structured both and that to study the histories of others is an excellent way to learn more about one’s own."—Christopher Tomlins, Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California Irvine and author of Freedom Bound: Law, Labor and Civic Identity in Colonizing English America, 1580-1865

“From scientific racism and immigration policies to racial classifications and legal systems, [The Long, Lingering Shadow] provides a powerful account highly recommended for any racial issues or history holding.”—Midwest Book Review

“The scope and the depth of this fine [Long, Lingering Shadow] are huge. Cottrol’s mastery of the primary and secondary sources is truly impressive. The writing is also superb. . . . Long, Lingering Shadow is a truly impressive piece of scholarship.”—James M. Denham, Civil War Book Review

“[Cottrol] shows that while racism was deeply ingrained in the US and less so in Latin America, the situation all but reversed itself in the last half of the 20th century, with the civil rights movement making great strides in the northern hemisphere and the pretense of no racism in the southern hemisphere stultifying the advancement of greater equality. In the course of his analysis, Cottrol’s thoughtful approach to legal history adds significantly to the understanding of activist movements in each country, the advisability of racial preference as a response to past inequities, and the reasons why simply ignoring race in the law fails to address its continuing importance in each national context.” —Choice

About the Author

Robert J. Cottrol is the Harold Paul Green Research Professor of Law and Professor of History and Sociology at the George Washington University. He has lectured extensively on U.S. law at universities in Argentina and Brazil. His books include The Afro-Yankees: Providence’s Black Community in the Antebellum Era and Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture, and the Constitution (coauthored with Raymond T. Diamond and Leland B. Ware).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adeline J. Wilcox on September 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
I bought this book on impulse at Reiter's Books in Washington, DC, USA. Very glad I did. As the academic reviewers say on the interleaf and back cover, this is an important book. New information and new ideas. All users of census data collected in the Western Hemisphere and especially anyone who might use 2020 US Census data should read this book.
Material related to Figure 1.1 in Creating a New Racial Order by Jennifer Hochschild, Vesla Weaver, & Traci Burch, published 2012 should also be considered by census data users.
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