The Strange Career of Jim Crow, by C. Vann Woodward
In The Strange Career of Jim Crow (consisting of the James W. Richard Lectures in History delivered at the University of Virginia in 1954), C. Vann Woodward comes to grips with both the facts and the fictions of segregation. Woodward destroys the myth that Jim Crow laws and regulations arose with Reconstruction and are, therefore, an inseparable part of the Southerner’s conception of how he must order his affairs so that the races may “live together.” What Woodward presents is a sharp portrait of an institution that actually sprang up in the 1890′s as a response to some of the problems of modern America, only to become itself one of the chief problems of American democracy. Much of what he has to say here he foreshadowed in his brilliant biography of Tom Watson, Agrarian Rebel and in his monumental Origins of the New South, which established his reputation as the leading historian of the post-Civil War South.
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