Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia, 1880-1930

Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia, 1880-1930

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by W. Fitzhugh Brundage, William Fitzhugh Brundage
     
 

In 1905, the sociologist James Cutler observed, "It has been said that our country's national crime is lynching." If lynching was a national crime, it was a southern obsession. Based on an analysis of nearly six hundred lynchings, this volume offers a new, full appraisal of the complex character of lynching. In Virginia, the southern state with the fewest lynchings, W… See more details below

Overview

In 1905, the sociologist James Cutler observed, "It has been said that our country's national crime is lynching." If lynching was a national crime, it was a southern obsession. Based on an analysis of nearly six hundred lynchings, this volume offers a new, full appraisal of the complex character of lynching. In Virginia, the southern state with the fewest lynchings, W. Fitzhugh Brundage found that conditions did not breed endemic mob violence. The character of white domination in Georgia, however, was symbolized by nearly five hundred lynchings and became the measure of race relations in the Deep South. By focusing on these two states, Brundage addresses three central questions ignored by previous studies: How can the variation in lynching over space and time be explained? To what extent was lynching a social ritual that affirmed traditional values? What were the causes of the decline of lynching? An original aspect of the work is that it demonstrates the role blacks played in combatting lynching, whether by flight, overt protest, or other strategies. The most lasting of these were efforts to organize opposition to lynching, efforts that culminated in the expansion of the NAACP throughout the South. The book's multidisciplinary approach and the significant issues it addresses will interest historians of African-American history, the South, and American violence. At the same time, it will remind a more general audience of a tradition of violence that poisoned American life, and especially southern life.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252063459
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
05/28/1993
Series:
Blacks in the New World
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
1,186,694
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1Mobs and Ritual17
2"To Draw the Line": Crimes and Victims49
3"When White Men Merit Lynching"86
4The Geography of Lynching in Georgia103
5The Geography of Lynching in Virginia140
6"We Live in an Age of Lawlessness": The Response to Lynching in Virginia161
7The Struggle against Lynching in Georgia, 1880-1910191
8Turning the Tide: Opposition to Lynching in Georgia, 1910-30208
Epilogue: The Passing of a Tradition245
Appendixes261
Notes303
Index369

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