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Vengeance and Justice: Crime and Punishment in the Nineteenth-Century American South Reprint Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0195039887
ISBN-10: 0195039882
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Editorial Reviews


"A pioneering and stimulating examination of a neglected aspect of southern history and a significant addition to the historiography of crime and punishment in America."--American Historical Review

"A major study that quite clearly is better than anything yet written on the subject."--The Journal of American History

"A distinguished contribution to the venerable debate over the relationship between southerners and the laws."--Reviews in American History

"An excellent and valuable study."--The Journal of Southern History

"This book offers a number of compelling and even original theories....It is also exceptionally well written."--Louisiana History

"An elegantly designed study, original and persuasive."--Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Edward L. Ayers is the President of the University of Richmond. He was educated at the University of Tennessee and Yale University, where he received his Ph.D. in American Studies. Previously Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia, where he began teaching in 1980, Ayers was named National Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Support of Education in 2003. His book, IN THE PRESENCE OF MINE ENEMIES: WAR IN THE HEART OF AMERICA, 1859-1863 (2003), won the Bancroft Prize for distinguished work on the history of the United States. THE PROMISE OF THE NEW SOUTH: LIFE AFTER RECONSTRUCTION (1992) won prizes for the best book on the history of American race relations and on the history of the American South. It was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He is the co-editor of THE OXFORD BOOK OF THE AMERICAN SOUTH (1997) and ALL OVER THE MAP: RETHINKING AMERICAN REGIONS (1996). The World Wide Web version of "The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War" was recognized by the American Historical Association as the best aid to the teaching of history. His latest book is WHAT CAUSED THE CIVIL WAR? REFLECTIONS ON THE SOUTH AND SOUTHERN HISTORY (2005).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (December 12, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195039882
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195039887
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
The most important thing to bare in mind while reading this book is that while it builds on "Honor and Violence in the Old South" (a classic) it adds another dimension to the discussion. It throughly examines the origins of Southern violence with an eye to how this lead to a unique justice system in the South. The particulars come together to impact blacks and socialize them to value honor (or respect as it is refered to on the street) as a social imperative. The creation of chain gangs and other devices added to a reformed ( after the Civil war) legal system that helped whites find other methods to control blacks sans the institution of slavery.
Of course this is a scholarly work which makes it a bit dry, but it is never confusing or too hard to follow. There might have been some omissions made because some of it is just too detailed, while the section comparing the justice systems created in the Northern States to their Southern counterparts could have been expanded. These are small gripes as most of this book contains great stuff on the South, sociology of race relations, or how society interacts with "justice".
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