- Series: Politics and Society in Modern America (Book 75)
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press; Revised ed. edition (July 31, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691152438
- ISBN-13: 978-0691152431
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy (Politics and Society in Modern America) Paperback – July 31, 2011
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[An] important book---H. W. Brands, Reviews in American History
A meticulously researched and eloquently composed study.---Desmond King, Times Higher Education Supplement
In her long-awaited book, Mary Dudziak brilliantly demonstrates the interconnections between race relations and the American response to the early Cold War. . . . Dudziak sets a new standard for literature on race and Cold War foreign policy. . . . Her work deserves a wide audience.---Laura Belmonte, Journal of Cold War Studies
Civil rights activists' efforts were watched carefully by the nation and by the world, and now are described and analyzed for us all with masterful skill by Mary Dudziak in Cold War Civil Rights. Although the Cold War is over, race remains a critical feature of global politics. As recent events remind us so well, much appears to be tied loosely with the destiny of democracy in the United States and the way that the country is seen by a diverse and divided world. In understanding this process, the issues at stake, the roles that individuals play, and the implications for human rights, Cold War Civil Rights will provide enormous assistance.---Paul Gordon Lauren, Human Rights Quarterly
Mary Dudziak's sophisticated account of race, reform, and international relations in post-World War II America is an outstanding work that should help historians rethink the early Cold War era.---David Farber, H-Pol, H-Net Reviews
This nuanced, scholarly appraisal of the relationship between foreign policy and the civil rights story offers a fresh and provocative perspective on twentieth-century American history. (Harvard Law Review)
Carefully reasoned, containing vivid accounts, and thoroughly documented with illustrations and 55 pages of explanatory notes, this work helps us rethink the familiar by analyzing the subject matter from a new perspective. It will have broad appeal to historians, other academicians and lay readers interested in American foreign policy and race relations. (Library Journal)
Mary L. Dudziak . . . astutely explores the intimate relationship between the policy of communist containment and the civil rights movement. . . . Her book thoughtfully and thoroughly documents how ridiculous and hypocritical we appeared to the post-colonial, newly emerging nations of Africa and Asia by championing the ideals of freedom, democracy and economic equity around the world while at the same time shamelessly denying access to those very same principles to millions of Americans at home.---Edward C. Smith, The Washington Times
From the Back Cover
"Meticulously researched and beautifully written, Mary Dudziak's book makes a spectacularly illuminating contribution to a subject traditionally neglected--the linkage between race relations and foreign policy: neither African-American history nor diplomatic history will be the same again."--Gerald Horne, author of Race Woman: The Lives of Shirley Graham Du Bois
"Reinhold Niebuhr once commented that blacks cannot count on the altruism of whites for improvements in blacks' condition. Readers who think Niebuhr's remark was unfair to whites need to read this book. Mary Dudziak documents, in impressive detail, how the self-interest of elite whites instigated, shaped, and limited civil rights gains for blacks during the Cold War years. Raises serious questions about the future of racial justice in America."--Richard Delgado, Jean Lindsley Professor of Law, University of Colorado
"This book is a tour de force. Dudziak's brilliant analysis shows that the Cold War had a profound impact on the civil rights movement. Hers is the first book to make this important connection. It is a major contribution to our understanding of both the Civil Rights movement and the Cold War itself. . . . Because it is beautifully written in clear, lively prose, and draws its analysis from dramatic events and compelling stories of people involved from the top level of government to the grass roots, it will be an outstanding book for both students and the general public. I recommend it with no hesitation and with great enthusiasm."--Elaine Tyler May, author of Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era
"This book reflects a growing interest among historians in the global significance of race. . . . It is accessible and will have multiple uses as an approach to civil rights history, as an examination of policy making, and as a model of how a study can be attentive to both foreign and domestic aspects of a particular issue. It is tightly argued, coherent, and polished, and it features some particularly fine writing."--Brenda Plummer, author of Rising Wind: Black Americans and U.S. Foreign Affairs, 1935-1960
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Dudziak uses a plethora of primary and secondary sources to craft her work, and these include State Department archives, the Congressional record and (amongst others) the presidential papers of Lyndon Johnson. In at least two ways her work represents a transnational approach, as she works hard to show the effects of international pressure and opinion on the civil rights movement and she shows how events in the US play overseas, thus making her work a fine example of transnational history.
Speaking of transnational history, Dudziak's work is a fine example of this, and goes a long way to helping understand the effect the cold war has on the civil rights movement. Her narrative style is easy to follow, something which is not always the case when written by legal historians, and this book is useful to both the specialist and the novice. One area of criticism is that she does not address why Moscow changes its tactics and seems to drop criticism of American racism. Russian criticism of the US is an important part of her book, so not addressing the change in strategy seems a bit odd. Another criticism of this work could be that it is very traditional in its approach, in that it is very top down and does not include much from the point of view of women and other groups that are overlooked in traditional historical writings. This is true, however, her point is to write a traditional diplomatic history of the cold war, looking at "big players" and their effects on the world. Otherwise, the book is one which is a great addition to the historiography of both the civil rights movement and the cold war. As I said, it is easy to read and I highly recommend it if you are interested in the Cold War and it's effects on the Civil Rights Movement.
But, this book really opened up my eyes to how everything at this age connected together! I always learned about the cold war and civil rights differently. They were two different stages in history, two very different topics, that each had their own exams. But this book did an EXCELLENT job putting it all together! I now see history as a web of events, all of which effect one another. This book showed me how much civil rights and the cold war had to do with each other. I actually learned a lot, and it wasn't a dry read at all. I liked it.
Now. The book is very well written, enjoyable and informative. I encourage everyone who wants to understand the Civil Rights movement in the broader context to read it.