Jeffery A. Jenkins is the Provost Professor of Public Policy, Political Science, and Law, the Judith and John Bedrosian Chair of Governance and the Public Enterprise, director of the Bedrosian Center, and director of the Political Institutions and Political Economy Collaborative at University of Southern California. Justin Peck is assistant professor of government at Wesleyan University.
Welcome to this book! It is the definitive account of policy making on civil rights across many decades. With deftness and in considerable detail, it shows the role of Congress. That institution's well-known initiative during the 1860s gave way to the chronic offensive and defensive maneuvers, ups and downs (mostly downs), that carried on in subsequent times through World War I. All this came against an evolving background of public opinion, southern resistance, and partisan strategies. The long sad post-1860s history, told so well here, needs to be better known. -- David R. Mayhew, author of The Imprint of Congress Written by outstanding students of American political development, this compelling policy history analytically chronicles the fate of proposals to enhance black rights from the Civil War to World War I. With an emphasis on the electoral connection and strategic choice in legislative politics, the book's textured account of civil rights achievements and tragically missed opportunities underscores the interplay of party, opinion, and lawmaking and importantly adds to our understanding of how state formation and racial hierarchy came to be closely entwined. -- Ira I. Katznelson, coauthor of Southern Nation: Congress and White Supremacy after Reconstruction Jenkins and Peck examine the fate of civil rights legislation during the Reconstruction Era after the US Civil War. They find that after an initial push, discrimination against African Americans in the South became commonplace, and civil rights advocates in Congress increasingly shifted to policies desired by white constituents in the North. They examine how the Republican Party slowly withdrew its support for a meaningful civil rights agenda, and how Democrats and Republicans worked together to keep civil rights off the legislative agenda. * Law & Social Inquiry *