American Nightmare

American Nightmare

The History of Jim Crow

Book - 2002
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Baker & Taylor
A renowned historian traces segregation from the Reconstruction to the Civil Rights movement, shedding light on one of the most appalling moments in American history, a system of legalized segregation that forced black submission to the perceived racial superiority of the white majority known as Jim Crow. 20,000 first printing.

McMillan Palgrave
For a hundred years after the end of the Civil War, a quarter of all Americans lived under a system of legalized segregation called Jim Crow. Together with its rigidly enforced canon of racial "etiquette," these rules governed nearly every aspect of life--and outlined draconian punishments for infractions.

The purpose of Jim Crow was to keep African Americans subjugated at a level as close as possible to their former slave status. Exceeding even South Africa's notorious apartheid in the humiliation, degradation, and suffering it brought, Jim Crow left scars on the American psyche that are still felt today. American Nightmare examines and explains Jim Crow from its beginnings to its end: how it came into being, how it was lived, how it was justified, and how, at long last, it was overcome only a few short decades ago. Most importantly, this book reveals how a nation founded on principles of equality and freedom came to enact as law a pervasive system of inequality and virtual slavery.

Although America has finally consigned Jim Crow to the historical graveyard, Jerrold Packard shows why it is important that this scourge--and an understanding of how it happened--remain alive in the nation's collective memory.

Book News
For his eighth book on social institutions, Packard takes up the structure of exclusion and discrimination devised by white Americans to maintain first-class social and economic status for themselves and denying it primarily to black Americans but also Hispanics, Asians, and others. His story focuses on the former Confederacy, where the structure was codified in statutes until the triumph of the civil rights movement. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

Chronicles the history of the laws enacted following the conclusion of the Civil War that segregated the South into white and non-white segments, discussing how they were established, justified, and finally dismantled.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2002
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780312261221
Branch Call Number: 973.0496 PAC
Characteristics: ix, 291 p. ; 25 cm


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Jun 06, 2018

The book summarizes American white racism from the end of the civil war to the passage of the Civil Rights bills of the 1960's. Although the book was published in 2002, there is no mention of anything after the 1960's, in which many steps have been taken to eliminate African-American rights and to increase the disparity of wealth between whites and blacks. And the book contains no premonition that the whites would wipe away as many Black gains as soon as possible (killing of unions, gerrymandering, Supreme Court selection of Bush II, Supreme Court gutting the Civil Rights bills allowing the Southern states to resume the suppression of Black voter registration, reduction of Blacks in universities, etc. and the two times an anti-black president would be elected with a minority of the popular vote).


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