Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race

Author: Kevin J. McMahon
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226561127
Format: PDF, ePub
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Many have questioned FDR's record on race, suggesting that he had the opportunity but not the will to advance the civil rights of African Americans. Kevin J. McMahon challenges this view, arguing instead that Roosevelt's administration played a crucial role in the Supreme Court's increasing commitment to racial equality—which culminated in its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education. McMahon shows how FDR's attempt to strengthen the presidency and undermine the power of conservative Southern Democrats dovetailed with his efforts to seek racial equality through the federal courts. By appointing a majority of rights-based liberals deferential to presidential power, Roosevelt ensured that the Supreme Court would be receptive to civil rights claims, especially when those claims had the support of the executive branch.

Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State

Author: Megan Ming Francis
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139992546
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Did the civil rights movement impact the development of the American state? Despite extensive accounts of civil rights mobilization and narratives of state building, there has been surprisingly little research that explicitly examines the importance and consequence that civil rights activism has had for the process of state building in American political and constitutional development. Through a sweeping archival analysis of the NAACP's battle against lynching and mob violence from 1909 to 1923, this book examines how the NAACP raised public awareness, won over American presidents, and secured the support of Congress. In the NAACP's most far-reaching victory, the Supreme Court ruled that the constitutional rights of black defendants were violated by a white mob in the landmark criminal procedure decision Moore v. Dempsey. This book demonstrates the importance of citizen agency in the making of new constitutional law in a period unexplored by previous scholarship.

Jockeying for the American Presidency

Author: Lara M. Brown
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 1604977027
Format: PDF, Docs
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"Dr. Lara Brown's Jockeying for the American Presidency is one of the best books this discipline has contributed to the study of presidential nominations and elections. Her book has three especially attractive features. First, she correctly conceives of ambition as the theoretical base and she roots that ambition early in presidential aspirants' political careers. Second, she is very clear in the interaction between individual goals, here ambition for the Oval Office, and the development of partisan and electoral institutions. Third, as necessitated by the small number of nominations and the endogeneity among ambition, opportunity, and institution, her study is deeply historical. But history here is not just good research design; it animates the study and makes it such a pleasure to read."---John H. Aldrich, Duke University "Lara Brown sheds new light on presidential politics in her analysis of presidential aspirants. She argues that instead of being shaped by political party and external events, successful nominees actively shape their political parties and create their own political circumstances. Her richly detailed portraits of both winners and losers throughout American history undergird her theoretical contributions. Anyone interested in presidential elections will benefit greatly from reading this book."---James P. Pfiffner, George Mason University "This book will compel scholars to take a new look at the role of "political opportunism" in the presidential selection process. Lara Brown provides a fresh, innovative exploration of the roots of opportunism, one that challenges conventional wisdom as it advances our understanding of this complex topic."---Michael A. Genovese, Loyola Marymount University "Lara Brown links candidate opportunism to political experience, electoral success, partisan change, and institutional development. Admirably, she also seeks to contextualize opportunistic behavior---to be sensitive to history, norms, and contingent events. This is at bottom a study about candidate qualities---human nature, political character, the appetite for power---and the consequences of these for the successful pursuit of the presidential office. This, I believe, constitutes the core of the study and its greatest strength. In fact, in some ways this book is one of a small handful of works in recent memory to take very seriously the political and institutional implications of human nature---ambition, self-interest, opportunism---since the Federalist Papers."---Scott C. James. UCLA

The President and the Apprentice

Author: Irwin F. Gellman
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300181051
Format: PDF, Kindle
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More than half a century after Eisenhower left office, the history of his presidency is so clouded by myth, partisanship, and outright fraud that most people have little understanding of how Ike's administration worked or what it accomplished. We know--or think we know--that Eisenhower distrusted his vice president, Richard Nixon, and kept him at arm's length; that he did little to advance civil rights; that he sat by as Joseph McCarthy's reckless anticommunist campaign threatened to wreck his administration; and that he planned the disastrous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. None of this is true. The President and the Apprentice reveals a different Eisenhower, and a different Nixon. Ike trusted and relied on Nixon, sending him on many sensitive overseas missions. Eisenhower, not Truman, desegregated the military. Eisenhower and Nixon, not Lyndon Johnson, pushed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 through the Senate. Eisenhower was determined to bring down McCarthy and did so. Nixon never, contrary to recent accounts, saw a psychotherapist, but while Ike was recovering from his heart attack in 1955, Nixon was overworked, overanxious, overmedicated, and at the limits of his ability to function.

Fog of War

Author: Kevin M. Kruse
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199913420
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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It is well known that World War II gave rise to human rights rhetoric, discredited a racist regime abroad, and provided new opportunities for African Americans to fight, work, and demand equality at home. It would be all too easy to assume that the war was a key stepping stone to the modern civil rights movement. But Fog of War shows that in reality the momentum for civil rights was not so clear cut, with activists facing setbacks as well as successes and their opponents finding ways to establish more rigid defenses for segregation. While the war set the scene for a mass movement, it also narrowed some of the options for black activists. This collection is a timely reconsideration of the intersection between two of the dominant events of twentieth-century American history, the upheaval wrought by the Second World War and the social revolution brought about by the African American struggle for equality.

Almighty God Created the Races

Author: Fay Botham
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807899229
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In this fascinating cultural history of interracial marriage and its legal regulation in the United States, Fay Botham argues that religion--specifically, Protestant and Catholic beliefs about marriage and race--had a significant effect on legal decisions concerning miscegenation and marriage in the century following the Civil War. She contends that the white southern Protestant notion that God "dispersed" the races and the American Catholic emphasis on human unity and common origins point to ways that religion influenced the course of litigation and illuminate the religious bases for Christian racist and antiracist movements.

A Storm Over this Court

Author: Jeffrey D. Hockett
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 0813933749
Format: PDF, Docs
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On the way to offering a new analysis of the basis of the Supreme Court’s iconic decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Jeffrey Hockett critiques an array of theories that have arisen to explain it and Supreme Court decision making generally. Drawing upon justices’ books, articles, correspondence, memoranda, and draft opinions, A Storm over This Court demonstrates that the puzzle of Brown’s basis cannot be explained by any one theory. Borrowing insights from numerous approaches to analyzing Supreme Court decision making, this study reveals the inaccuracy of the popular perception that most of the justices merely acted upon a shared, liberal preference for an egalitarian society when they held that racial segregation in public education violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. A majority of the justices were motivated, instead, by institutional considerations, including a recognition of the need to present a united front in such a controversial case, a sense that the Court had a significant role to play in international affairs during the Cold War, and a belief that the Court had an important mission to counter racial injustice in American politics. A Storm over This Court demonstrates that the infusion of justices’ personal policy preferences into the abstract language of the Constitution is not the only alternative to an originalist approach to constitutional interpretation. Ultimately, Hockett concludes that the justices' decisions in Brown resist any single, elegant explanation. To fully explain this watershed decision—and, by implication, others—it is necessary to employ a range of approaches dictated by the case in question.

Brown at 50

Author: Deborah L. Rhode
Publisher: American Bar Association
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub
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This commermorative book contains insightful essays reflecting on the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown decision.