By Joel Williamson
The Crucible of Race, a huge reinterpretation of black-white family members within the South, was once extensively acclaimed on booklet and in comparison favorably to 2 of the seminal books on Southern historical past: Wilbur J. Cash's The brain of Jim Crow. Representing two decades of analysis and writing at the heritage of the South, The Crucible of Race explores the big subject of Southern race family members for a span of a century and a part. Oxford is happy to make on hand an abridgement of this dad or mum quantity: A Rage for Order preserves all of the subject matter strains that have been complicated within the unique quantity and plenty of of the person tales. As in Crucible of Race, Williamson right here confronts the grim irony that the conflict to unfastened blacks from slavery additionally freed racism. He examines the shift within the energy base of Southern white management after 1850 and recounts the bad violence performed to blacks within the identify of self-protection. This condensation of 1 of an important interpretations of Southern background is on the market as a way wherein a wide viewers can seize the necessities of black-white relations--a challenge that persists to today and one with which all of us needs to contend--North and South, black and white.
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Additional resources for A Rage for Order: Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation
The winner’s prowess was thus dedicated to her honor. During the "combat" he carried her handkerchief hidden in his clothes at his bosom, and that was his real reward—to battle for her. Publicly, his victory was gladly surrendered to her triumph. It was all very Romantic, very idealistic, and very Victorian, even as it seemed very medieval. Knightly combat between gentlemen often enough passed beyond social games into games that were deadly serious. In the South the code duello persisted as a way of life among gentlemen unmatched in intensity elsewhere in America.
The problem was very much a matter of defining and adjusting society to the limited abilities of black people. Thus, the Conservative mentality changed from an accepting, sometimes almost a gleeful (because self-vindicating) anticipation of the disappearance of blacks in the first years of freedom, to alarm and rejection during Reconstruction, and, finally, to a calm acceptance of the black presence in the future South during the decade after Reconstruction. If the attempt to put a new bottom on the boat of race relations in the South between 1865 and 1877 could be called Black Reconstruction, the same effort in the 1880s could well be called White Reconstruction.
Their sense of time must have differed from that of the whites. They lived by the sun and by the season. The South was vastly rural and agrarian, but Negroes as a people lived closer to the soil than anyone in America save, perhaps, the Indians. As a people they worked harder than white people, and they had different attitudes about their work. Slavery produced effects that white people did not want. There was always an undercurrent of rebellion among slaves, whether it took the form of a sullen manner, running away, dropping a rock among the fine teeth of the cotton gin, or outright and murderous rebellion.