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Lynching in the New South
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Brundage, an assistant professor of history at Queen's University in Ontario, provides a nuanced corrective to theories that lynching was a monolithic phenomenon throughout the South. In fact, he shows, the frequency of lynchings and the events that instigated them varied from state to state as functions of local race relations and economic factors. Focusing on Virginia, which had the fewest lynchings in the South, and Georgia, which had a particularly violent history, Brundage notes that Georgia mobs, unlike Virginia mobs, would lynch for minor transgressions. In the Cotton Belt and southern Georgia, the plantation system fostered racial violence, while in coastal Georgia, with its mixed economy, white paternalism and a strong black community limited lynching. In Virginia, diversified agriculture required day labor, which lessened racial conflict while keeping black workers on a short leash. In Virginia, Brundage shows, anti-lynching efforts were sponsored by conservative government officials who condemned anarchy. In Georgia, on the other hand, the anti-lynching campaign was instigated by progressive social reformers, leading to a decline in lynching by the late 1920s. (Aug.)

"The best book ever written on lynching." -- Numan V. Bartley, author of The Rise of Massive Resistance. "A nuanced corrective to theories that lynching was a monolithic phenomenon throughout the South." -- Publishers Weekly

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