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Inherently Unequal: The Betrayal of Equal Rights by the Supreme Court, 1865-1903 Paperback – January 31, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
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“Comprehensive and remarkably lucid”—"Publishers Weekly"
“A furious indictment of the Supreme Court as an accessory to the anti-democratic machinations of Gilded Age elites.”—"Kirkus Reviews"
“One of the saddest episodes in American history has been inadequately explored and poorly understood—until now. Lawrence Goldstone’s brilliantly written book, Inherently Unequal, traces the post-Reconstruction Supreme Court’s slow strangulation of equal rights for African-Americans. It will be a shock to many that the judicial branch, viewed in the modern context as the premier defender of civil rights, was primarily responsible for the nation’s descent into a deep, racist inequality that ruined the lives of millions for a century. As Goldstone shows us, Lincoln’s great legacy was cynically dismantled by the officeholders best positioned to protect it.”—Larry Sabato
“As with Dark Bargain, Lawrence
Top Customer Reviews
One only wishes that this book went deeper into the cases. As it is, there is irregular coverage given to some of the critical situations and cases brought before the Court. For example, one chapter is dedicated to the infamous CRUIKSHANK and REESE cases of the 1870s. While the author does a good job describing the circumstances surrounding the Colfax Massacre and the resulting case of U.S. v. CRUIKSHANK, one could read this chapter without ever knowing any detail whatsoever about U.S. v. REESE, which shredded the 15th Amendment as U.S. v. CRUIKSHANK did the 14th Amendment. In addition, the key case of YICK WO V. HOPKINS is briefly described, but little attention is drawn to the context of that case, affecting Chinese Americans on the west coast, and how it was decided unanimously by the same court in favor of Chinese Americans, a court that refused to expand the same logic of 14th Amendment protection to extend to African Americans. This little case is so important that it was cited in the footnotes that accompanied the case BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF TOPEKA.Read more ›
This book by Lawrence Goldstone, author of DARK BARGAIN: Slavery, Profits, and the Struggle for the Constitution, deftly and minutely details the process by which blacks, having gained so much on paper after the Civil War, lost it all to the racial bias of the members of the Supreme Court.
Much of the basis for cutting back the newly awarded rights of colored people at the time centered on the issue of states' rights. An example is the composition of juries. If states were forced to place people of color on juries, it would abrogate their right to set the standard for who could serve. If states and locales set the standard in the South, they would obviously set the standard to include only property owners, literate persons, and persons who were otherwise on the rolls, which never included any non-whites. By locking in all-white juries, it was a near-certainty the blacks would not receive equal justice in the courts.
Consider two of the players on the Supreme Court after the death of Lincoln.Read more ›
What stands out in this book is the unconscionable abdication by the Supreme Court of its responsibility of being the last recourse for the average person to obtain justice, in this case newly freed men. As noted by the author, Alexander Hamilton's contention that an independent supreme judiciary, appointed for life, would be above political and social pressures sadly proved to be decidedly wrong.
The beginnings of this shameful period in American history began with the attempt by Pres Andrew Johnson to permit the Southern states to rejoin the Union with no conditions attached - as though secession had not occurred and the Civil War not fought. However, Congressional Republicans, in the vast majority, were not about to stand by passively and watch the Southern states pass Black Codes that reinstituted the control and subjugation of blacks. Congress refused to seat Southern state representatives selected in white-only elections.
Continually acting against Johnson, so-called Radical Republicans passed a great deal of legislation in the late 1860s that sought to reorient Southern society.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have never read a book that put such a spotlight on the one place were all men are created equal should have been enforced. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Roy
A bitter joke about the US Civil War runs that "whilst it freed the slave it ignored the negro!"(presumably as freedman). Read morePublished 24 months ago by T. Washington
If you are in to American history and ever wondered how brutal slavery and slave owners were, then, the introductory of this book should scare the hell out of you.Published on January 12, 2014 by Mp somali
Great read! Good quality. For anyone interested in or studying history or genocide, this will be a great addition. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have so far.Published on January 11, 2014 by deannab
Thoroughly researched work detailing the effective abandonment of the 14th Amendment by Northerners and Southerners alike, leading inevitably to the complete horrors of Jim Crow. Read morePublished on September 27, 2013 by Farley X Wilbur
Very informative. Readable. Details of how our government, in calculated ways, robbed African-Americans of their citizenship rights under the constitution of the United States. Read morePublished on August 4, 2013 by barbedwire