Color Blind Justice: Albion Tourgi'Ae and the Quest for Racial Equality from the Civil War to Plessy v. Ferguson

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 28%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 88%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $2.00   
  • New (7) from $4.00   
  • Used (8) from $2.00   


Civil War officer, Reconstruction "carpetbagger," best-selling novelist, and relentless champion of equal rights—Albion Tourgée battled his entire life for racial justice. Now, in this engaging biography, Mark Elliott offers an insightful portrait of a fearless lawyer, jurist, and writer, who fought for equality long after most Americans had abandoned the ideals of Reconstruction. Elliott provides a fascinating account of Tourgée's life, from his childhood in the Western Reserve region of Ohio (then a hotbed of abolitionism), to his years as a North Carolina judge during Reconstruction, to his memorable role as lead plaintiff's counsel in the landmark Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson. Tourgée's brief coined the phrase that justice should be "color-blind," and his career was one long campaign to make good on that belief. A redoubtable lawyer and an accomplished jurist, Tourgée's writings represent a mountain of dissent against the prevailing tide of racial oppression. A poignant and inspiring study in courage and conviction, Color-Blind Justice offers us an unforgettable portrayal of Albion Tourgée and the principles to which he dedicated his life.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In focusing on this largely forgotten activist and artist of Victorian America and his struggles to bring the United States into closer proximity to its ever-elusive ideals, Elliott undertook a task that was more daunting, for his subject pursued wildly different careers as a politician, a lawyer, and a novelist in pursuit of his goals. The author impressively succeeds in integrating these divergent strands into a coherent and illuminating whole."—Michael Thomas Smith, Reviews in American History

"An excellent biography, by far the best scholarly treatment of it important subject."—Mark S. Weiner, American Historical Review

"No one has completed a more thorough, penetrating study of Tourgée and his multiple legacies than Mark Elliott."—Jane Dailey, Civil War Book Review

"Elliott's masterful biography...defies easy capsulization.... It tells a story of a remarkable and talented man who dedicated much of his life to a noble, yet often lonely, struggle.... And it places Tourgee in the context of the momentous events that shaped his life and ideas...this extraordinary biography ends by leaving it to others to judge the meaning of Tourgee's life in our own times. There is little doubt that it can still tell us a great deal about the human condition."—Raleigh Daily News and Observer

"Mark Elliott...has synthesized a wealth of material and crafted a superb study.... Elliot writes with gusto and is provocative in his analysis. Color-Blind Justice is certain to become an invaluable source on Tourgée and on race relations in the United States during the second half of the 19th century."—Richmond Times Dispatch

"A seminal but nearly forgotten figure in the American Civil Rights movement receives his due in this richly detailed biography.... Elliott goes a long way toward restoring Albion Tourgée's name to a prominent place on the list of American civil rights heroes."—Publishers Weekly

"Through deep research, great sensitivity to the racial and social contexts of the late nineteenth century, and some eloquent writing, Elliott shows us a Tourgée who truly was a pioneer of the tradition of antiracism in its early years. The work is also an excellent on-the-ground biography of a carpetbaggers experience in Reconstruction North Carolina. Tourgée was a major literary, legal, and political figure and this book finally may bring his story to a larger readership. As a first book by a young scholar, it is impressive for its mature writing and creative research."—Avery O. Craven Award citation

"Elliott's Color-Blind Justice is a fascinating study of a man and his principles against the rapidly changing background of the nineteenth century's second half."—Martin Hardeman, H-Net Reviews

"A wonderful biography." — The Journal of Law and History Review

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195370218
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/30/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,533,436
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 5.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Note on Usage
Introduction: Albion Tourge and Color-Blind Citizenship
Part I - The Color-Blind Crusade
1. Judge Tourge and the Radical Civil War
Part II - The Radical Advance
2. The Making of a Radical Individualist in Ohio's Western Reserve
3. Citizen-Soldier: Manhood and the meaning of Liberty
4. A Radical Yankee in the Reconstruction South
5. The Unfinished Revolution
Part III - The Counterrevolution
6. The Politics of Remembering Reconstruction
7. Radical Individualism in the Gilded Age
8. Beginning the Civil Rights Movement
9. The Rejection of Color-Blind Citizenship: Plessy v. Ferguson
10. The Fate of Color-Blind Citizenship

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)