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Inherently Unequal

Inherently Unequal

Inherently Unequal

作    者
Goldstone, Lawrence;  
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所属分类
Law > Courts
Law > Courts > General
Political Science > Political Freedom & Security > Civil Rights
出版社
St Martins Press
ISBN-13
9780802717924
ISBN-10
0802717926
出版日期
2011-01
页数
242
单位
尺寸
24.77 * 2.54 * 17.14
装帧
Hardcover
版本

Product Description

A potent and original examination of how the Supreme Court subverted justice and empowered the Jim Crow era.


In the following years following the Civil War, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery; the 14th conferred citizenship and equal protection under the law to white and black; and the 15th gave black American males the right to vote. In 1875, the most comprehensive civil rights legislation in the nation's history granted all Americans "the full and equal enjoyment" of public accomodations. Just eight years later, the Supreme Court, by an 8-1 vote, overturned the Civil Rights Act as unconstitutional and, in the process, disemboweled the equal protection provisions of the 14th Amendment. Using court records and accounts of the period, Lawrence Goldstone chronicles how "by the dawn of the 20th century the U.S. had become the nation of Jim Crow laws, quasi-slavery, and precisely the same two-tiered system of justice that had existed in the slave era."


The very human story of how and why this happened make Inherently Unequal as important as it is provocative. Examining both celebrated decisions like Plessy v. Ferguson and those often overlooked, Goldstone demonstrates how the Supreme Court turned a blind eye to the obvious reality of racism, defending instead the business establishment and status quo--thereby legalizing the brutal prejudice that came to definite the Jim Crow era.

About the Author

Lawrence Goldstone is the author of Dark Bargain: Slavery, Profits, and the Struggle for the Constitution, and The Activist: John Marshall, Marbury v. Madison, and the Myth of Judicial Review. He lives in Westport, Connecticut.

Review

“Goldstone offers a clear, cogent reading of the court's machinations, no small accomplishment since the justices generally rested their opinions on convoluted legal reasoning rather than on broad principles.” – The Washington Post

“An absorbing account of the Supreme Court’s role following the Civil War.”—Library Journal

“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 Goldstone once again adds a much-needed chapter to U.S. history with Inherently Unequal.”—Tavis Smiley

From Publishers Weekly

In this comprehensive and remarkably lucid study of post–Civil War Supreme Court decisions, Goldstone (The Activist) shows how the court's narrow interpretation of the 14th amendment--bestowing "equal protection under the law" to all Americans, regardless of race--paved the way for future decisions that diminished the status of African-Americans. While the Civil Rights Act of 1875 guaranteed " the full and equal enjoyment of public conveyances, inns, places of public amusement," it was never truly enforced and was ultimately struck down in 1883 as being unconstitutional by an 8–1 vote. Justice Marshall Harlan, a former slave owner, was the lone dissenter and though vindicated by history, at the time his dissent could not have been more unpopular--even in the North. Goldstone provides rich analysis as well as useful descriptions of the backgrounds, philosophies, and even racism of the key justices. Tracing the makeup of the courts under each administration, Goldstone analyzes how politics and social Darwinism further impeded African-American equality, concluding, "the Court did not render its decisions to conform to the law but rather contorted the law to conform to its decisions." (Jan.)
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