Little Rock: Race and Resistance at Central High School (Politics and Society in Modern America)

Little Rock: Race and Resistance at Central High School (Politics and Society in Modern America)

By: Karen Anderson (author)Paperback

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The desegregation crisis in Little Rock is a landmark of American history: on September 4, 1957, after the Supreme Court struck down racial segregation in public schools, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called up the National Guard to surround Little Rock Central High School, preventing black students from going in. On September 25, 1957, nine black students, escorted by federal troops, gained entrance. With grace and depth, Little Rock provides fresh perspectives on the individuals, especially the activists and policymakers, involved in these dramatic events. Looking at a wide variety of evidence and sources, Karen Anderson examines American racial politics in relation to changes in youth culture, sexuality, gender relations, and economics, and she locates the conflicts of Little Rock within the larger political and historical context. Anderson considers how white groups at the time, including middle class women and the working class, shaped American race and class relations. She documents white women's political mobilizations and, exploring political resentments, sexual fears, and religious affiliations, illuminates the reasons behind segregationists' missteps and blunders. Anderson explains how the business elite in Little Rock retained power in the face of opposition, and identifies the moral failures of business leaders and moderates who sought the appearance of federal compliance rather than actual racial justice, leaving behind a legacy of white flight, poor urban schools, and institutional racism. Probing the conflicts of school desegregation in the mid-century South, Little Rock casts new light on connections between social inequality and the culture wars of modern America.

About Author

Karen Anderson is professor emeritus of history at the University of Arizona. She is the author of Wartime Women: Sex Roles, Family Relations, and the Status of Women During World War II and coauthor of Present Tense: The United States since 1945.


List of Illustrations vii Acknowledgments ix Introduction: Not Here, Not Now, Not Us 1 Chapter 1: Mapping Change: Little Rock Forges a Desegregation Plan 19 Chapter 2: "Occupied Arkansas": Class, Gender, and the Politics of Resistance 55 Chapter 3: Uncivil Disobedience: Th e Politics of Race and Resistance at Central High School, 1957-1958 94 Chapter 4: Th e Politics of School Closure: Massive Resistance Put to the Test, 1958-1959 137 Chapter 5: Th e Politics of Fear and Gridlock 166 Chapter 6: Politics as Usual: Reviving the Politics of Tokenism 190 Conclusions: Little Rock and the Legacies of Brown v. Board of Education 228 Abbreviations 245 Notes 247 Index 315

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780691159614
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 344
  • ID: 9780691159614
  • weight: 482
  • ISBN10: 0691159610
  • translations: English
  • language of text: English

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