Race in the American South : From Slavery to Civil Rights
This is the first book to offer an over-arching view of the ways race has indelibly shaped the history of the United States. David Brown and Clive Webb trace the turbulent course of southern race relations from the colonial origins of the plantation system to the maturation of slavery in the nineteenth century, through the rise of a new racial order during the Civil War and Reconstruction, to the civil rights movement of the twentieth century. While the authors recognize the very different racial balances in different parts of the region, the divisions among southern whites, and the nonracial basis of many aspects of southern distinctiveness, they convincingly put forward the case that the driving engine of Southern history is the attempt to resolve the dilemmas posed by the racial issue. They focus on the omnipresent racial basis of the changes over time in the region's politics, economy, and social structure, as well as other main areas of study in American history, including culture, class, and gender.