Neglected Stories

Overview

In a powerful challenge to the belief that the Constitution has nothing to do with the individual freedoms that comprise family rights, Peggy Cooper Davis argues here that the constitutional amendments after the Civil War reflect a profound appreciation of the political, social, and personal worth of family autonomy. She draws upon what she calls the "motivating stories" of the Fourteenth Amendment to show that the Reconstruction legislators who sponsored it understood family rights as aspects of liberty that ...
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Overview

In a powerful challenge to the belief that the Constitution has nothing to do with the individual freedoms that comprise family rights, Peggy Cooper Davis argues here that the constitutional amendments after the Civil War reflect a profound appreciation of the political, social, and personal worth of family autonomy. She draws upon what she calls the "motivating stories" of the Fourteenth Amendment to show that the Reconstruction legislators who sponsored it understood family rights as aspects of liberty that were fundamental to the proper definition of freedom and citizenship. This new understanding of family rights developed as men and women - black and white, Southerners and Northerners - came to appreciate the enormity of slavery's denial, even destruction, of family life. Davis also explores the "doctrinal stories" the Supreme Court has told to justify or strike down restrictions on liberty with respect to work, marriage, procreation, parenting, and sexuality and family planning - and the stories of the litigants who wanted to live, work, marry, love, and parent as they chose. These "neglected stories" are woven together in a strong new constitutional argument that gives us at long last a framework in which we can have sensible social and political debate about just what we mean when we say "family values."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809016075
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/30/1998
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Path to Appreciation of Family Rights 3
1 "A Wide Field for Ambition": Stories about Work 15
At The Door of an "Honorable Profession": A Doctrinal Story about the Absence of a Right 16
"And My Daddy Say No": Motivating Stories of Struggle for the Right to Work 18
Reason, Justice, and the Social Compact: A Competing Doctrinal Story about the Rights of Men 22
"I Rise Because I Am Not a Slave": Motivating Stories of Women and Work 23
2 "A Thing of Common Right": Stories about Marriage 28
William Mowry and "The Daughter of the Indian Pero": A Doctrinal Story of Common Right 29
"For God's Sake, Have You Bought My Wife": Motivating Stories of Common Right 30
"We Shall Be Established as a People": Marriage as Political Act and Human Right 35
"The Will of the Sovereign": A Doctrinal Story of State Authority 40
"The First Step from Slavery": Stories of Marriage in Defiance of Sovereign Authority 42
"A Feature of the Life of Asiatic and African People": A Doctrinal Story about Marriage Forms 49
A First Amendment Motivating Story 61
A Relevant, If Not Motivating, Story 62
A Perfect Equality: A Doctrinal Story of Social Caste 63
A Question Left for Posterity: Mixed Motivating Stories of Caste and Choice 68
A Right "Essential to the Orderly Pursuit of Happiness": A Doctrinal Story of Marriage Choice 75
The Doctrinal Story Evolves 77
3 "The Child is Not the Creature of the State": Stories about Parenting 81
A Doctrinal Story "Touching the Relation Between Individual and State" 83
"My Mother's Name was Elizabeth" : Motivating Stories Touching the Relation Between Parent and Child 90
"What Definition Will You Attach to the Word 'Freeman'"?: Rights of Family as Antislavery Ideology and Reconstruction Promise 108
Family, God, and Country: Doctrinal Stories about the Shaping of Young Minds 118
"My Mother's and Father's Theology": Motivating Stories of Family, God, and Master 128
"Poor Joshua!": Doctrinal Stories of Public Duty to Children 137
"I'll Have My Child Again!": Motivating Stories of Parental Capacity 142
The Doctrinal Story Evolves 155
4 "They Have Not Owned Even their Bodies": Stories about Procreation 167
"There are Limits": Doctrinal Stories Concerning the Right to Continue One's Kind 169
Used as Avarice or Lust May Dictate: Motivating Stories of Reproductive Control 174
Emanations and Penumbras: Doctrinal Stories of Procreational Privacy 181
"A Right Broad Enough to Encompass A Woman's Decision": A Doctrinal Story of Abortion Choice 185
Slavery Will Never Own a Child of Mine: Motivating Stories of Procreation and Freedom 190
The Doctrinal Story Evolves 192
5 A New Appreciation of Family Rights: Recapturing Antislavery History and Tradition 214
Defining the Self and Defining the Community: Antislavery and the Value of Moral Autonomy 226
The Child-Care Functions of Parent and State: Antislavery and the Value of Family Socialization 241
Afterword 251
Notes 253
Index 285
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