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What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America

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ISBN13: 9780199772353
ISBN10: 0199772355
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Publisher Comments:

A long-awaited history that promises to dramatically change our understanding of race in America, What Comes Naturally traces the origins, spread, and demise of miscegenation laws in the United States-laws that banned interracial marriage and sex, and which were enacted and applied not just in the South but throughout most of the country, in the West, the North, and the Midwest.

Beginning in the Reconstruction era, when the term miscegenation first was coined, Peggy Pascoe traces the creation of a racial hierarchy that bolstered white supremacy and banned the marriage of Whites to Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, and American Indians, as well as the marriage of Whites to Blacks. She takes readers into the lost world of miscegenation law, showing how legislators, lawyers, and judges used ideas about gender and sexuality to enact and enforce miscegenation laws. Judges labeled interracial marriages "unnatural," marriage license clerks made them seem statistically invisible, and newspaper reporters turned them into sensational morality tales. Taken together, their actions embedded a multiracial version of white supremacy deep in the heart of the modern American state. Pascoe ends not simply with the landmark 1967 case of Loving v. Virginia, in which the U.S. Supreme Court finally struck down miscegenation laws, but with a look at the implications of the ideal of colorblindness that replaced them.

Moving effortlessly from the lives of interracial couples, the politicking of the NAACP, and the outraged objections of Filipino immigrants to the halls of state legislatures and rulings of the Supreme Court, What Comes Naturally transcends older interpretations of bans on interracial marriage as a southern story in black and white to offer a stunning account of the national scope and multiracial breadth of America's tragic history of miscegenation laws.

Synopsis:

A long-awaited history that promises to dramatically change our understanding of race in America, What Comes Naturally traces the origins, spread, and demise of miscegenation laws in the United States--laws that banned interracial marriage and sex, most often between whites and members of other races. Peggy Pascoe demonstrates how these laws were enacted and applied not just in the South but throughout most of the country, in the West, the North, and the Midwest. Beginning in the Reconstruction era, when the term miscegenation first was coined, she traces the creation of a racial hierarchy that bolstered white supremacy and banned the marriage of Whites to Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, and American Indians as well as the marriage of Whites to Blacks. She ends not simply with the landmark 1967 case of Loving v. Virginia, in which the Supreme Court finally struck down miscegenation laws throughout the country, but looks at the implications of ideas of colorblindness that replaced them. What Comes Naturally is both accessible to the general reader and informative to the specialist, a rare feat for an original work of history based on archival research.

About the Author

Peggy Pascoe is Beekman Professor of Northwest and Pacific History and Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon. She is the author of Relations of Rescue: The Search for Female Moral Authority in the American West, 1874-1939 (OUP).

Table of Contents

Maps

Introduction

Part I: Miscegenation Law and Constitutional Equality, 1863-1900

1. Engendering Miscegenation

2. Sexualizing Miscegenation Law

Part II. Miscegenation Law and Race Classification, 1860-1948

3. Configuring Race in the American West

4. The Facts of Race in the Courtroom

5. Seeing Like a Racial State

Part III. Miscegenation Law and Its Opponents, 1913-1967

6. Between and Rock and a Hard Place

7. Interraccial Marriage as a Natural Right

8. Interracial Marriage as a Civil Right

Part IV. The Politics of Colorblindness 1967-2000

9. Lionizing Loving

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations

Notes

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Annelise, September 20, 2011 (view all comments by Annelise)
What Comes Naturally is an amazing book. It is thoroughly engrossing and informative -- and is so well-written that you hardly want to put it down. I'm a Ph.D. student in history, and this book stands out in its elegance and its brilliance. It's at the top of my list to assign to students!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780199772353
Author:
Pascoe, Peggy
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Peggy
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
History - American
Subject:
History, American | African American
Subject:
US History-19th Century
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20101131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
30 halftones
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
6.1 x 9.1 x 1.2 in 1.2 lb

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Related Subjects


History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Law » Divorce and Child Custody
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
Textbooks » General

What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America New Trade Paper
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Product details 416 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199772353 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A long-awaited history that promises to dramatically change our understanding of race in America, What Comes Naturally traces the origins, spread, and demise of miscegenation laws in the United States--laws that banned interracial marriage and sex, most often between whites and members of other races. Peggy Pascoe demonstrates how these laws were enacted and applied not just in the South but throughout most of the country, in the West, the North, and the Midwest. Beginning in the Reconstruction era, when the term miscegenation first was coined, she traces the creation of a racial hierarchy that bolstered white supremacy and banned the marriage of Whites to Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, and American Indians as well as the marriage of Whites to Blacks. She ends not simply with the landmark 1967 case of Loving v. Virginia, in which the Supreme Court finally struck down miscegenation laws throughout the country, but looks at the implications of ideas of colorblindness that replaced them. What Comes Naturally is both accessible to the general reader and informative to the specialist, a rare feat for an original work of history based on archival research.
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