Popular Justice: A History of Lynching in America

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Government Institutes, 16. märts 2011 - 232 pages
Lynching has often been called "America's national crime" that has defined the tradition of extralegal violence in America. Having claimed many thousand victims, "Judge Lynch" holds a firm place in the dark recesses of our national memory.

In Popular Justice, Manfred Berg explores the history of lynching from the colonial era to the present. American lynch law, he argues, has rested on three pillars: the frontier experience, racism, and the anti-authoritarian spirit of grassroots democracy. Berg looks beyond the familiar story of mob violence against African American victims, who comprised the majority of lynch targets, to include violence targeting other victim groups, such as Mexicans and the Chinese, as well as many of those cases in which race did not play a role. As he nears the modern era, he focuses on the societal changes that ended lynching as a public spectacle.

Berg's narrative concludes with an examination of lynching's legacy in American culture. From the colonial era and the American Revolution up to the twenty-first century, lynching has been a part of our nation's history. Manfred Berg provides us with the first comprehensive overview of "popular justice."

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A History of Lynching in America: Popular Justice

Kasutaja arvustus  - Book Verdict

Berg traces lynching's U.S. history, starting with the Colonial era and coming to the present, addressing the characteristics of this brutal punishment undertaken by "ordinary" people. Read full review


Chapter 1 The Roots of Lynching in Colonial and Revolutionary North America
Chapter 2 The Rise of Lynch Law in Antebellum America
Chapter 3 Frontier Justice
Chapter 4 Lynching Riots and Political Terror in the Civil War Years
The Lynching of African Americans in the Age of Jim Crow
Chapter 6 Popular Justice Beyond Black and White
Chapter 7 The Struggle Against Lynching
Chapter 8 From Lynching to Hate Crime
Chapter 9 Lynching in American Memory and Culture
A Note on Sources
A Note on the Author

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About the author (2011)

Manfred Berg is the Curt Engelhorn Professor of American History at the University of Heidelberg. He is author of, among other books, The Ticket to Freedom: The NAACP and the Struggle for Black Political Integration.

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