Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America's Journey from Slavery to Segregation

Author:   Steve Luxenberg
Publisher:   WW Norton & Co
ISBN:  

9780393239379


Pages:   624
Publication Date:   12 February 2019
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   Out of stock   Availability explained
The supplier is temporarily out of stock of this item. It will be ordered for you on backorder and shipped when it becomes available.

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Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America's Journey from Slavery to Segregation


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Overview

Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court case synonymous with separate but equal, created remarkably little stir when the justices announced their near-unanimous decision on May 18, 1896. Yet it is one of the most compelling and dramatic stories of the nineteenth century, whose outcome embraced and protected segregation, and whose reverberations are still felt into the twenty-first. Separate spans a striking range of characters and landscapes, bound together by the defining issue of their time and ours-race and equality. Wending its way through a half-century of American history, the narrative begins at the dawn of the railroad age, in the North, home to the nation's first separate railroad car, then moves briskly through slavery and the Civil War to Reconstruction and its aftermath, as separation took root in nearly every aspect of American life. Award-winning author Steve Luxenberg draws from letters, diaries, and archival collections to tell the story of Plessy v. Ferguson through the eyes of the people caught up in the case. Separate depicts indelible figures such as the resisters from the mixed-race community of French New Orleans, led by Louis Martinet, a lawyer and crusading newspaper editor; Homer Plessy's lawyer, Albion Tourgee, a best-selling author and the country's best-known white advocate for civil rights; Justice Henry Billings Brown, from antislavery New England, whose majority ruling endorsed separation; and Justice John Harlan, the Southerner from a slaveholding family whose singular dissent cemented his reputation as a steadfast voice for justice. Sweeping, swiftly paced, and richly detailed, Separate provides a fresh and urgently-needed exploration of our nation's most devastating divide.

Full Product Details

Author:   Steve Luxenberg
Publisher:   WW Norton & Co
Imprint:   WW Norton & Co
Dimensions:   Width: 16.80cm , Height: 4.10cm , Length: 24.40cm
Weight:   1.000kg
ISBN:  

9780393239379


ISBN 10:   0393239373
Pages:   624
Publication Date:   12 February 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   Out of stock   Availability explained
The supplier is temporarily out of stock of this item. It will be ordered for you on backorder and shipped when it becomes available.

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Reviews

In lucid prose, Luxenberg lays out the history of racialized segregation in the North and South of the United States and offers vivid portraits of main actors in this civil rights struggle. -- Publishers Weekly Masterly....In the sweeping style of Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns, this work will be enthusiastically received by informed readers and historians and is likely to become the seminal work on this crucial Supreme Court decision. -- Library Journal (starred review) Luxenberg brilliantly tackles a difficult task, presenting his solidly researched work clearly and with a restrained objectivity....An engaging and sensitive exploration of America's detour from the promise of equal protection. -- Kirkus (starred review) At this critical moment in our nation's struggle for racial justice, Steve Luxenberg's Separate provides a compelling picture of an earlier stage in that quest. Unlike Gideon's Trumpet or Simple Justice, his story does not end with a judicial triumph. But in viewing Plessy v. Ferguson through the lives of its protagonists-the plaintiff, his sponsors, his lawyer, the Justices who decided the case-he reminds us that the pursuit of justice comes down to individuals, not just institutions. He has written a fascinating, if sobering volume. -- Peter M. Shane, professor of law, the Ohio State University Plessy v. Ferguson looms large in American history, and it remains searingly relevant today, but it is ill understood. Steve Luxenberg uses his relentless reporting skills and narrative expertise to reveal the full story. His uniquely valuable book will appeal to fans of Ron Chernow's Grant and Doris Kearns Goodwin's The Bully Pulpit-and to anyone who wants to understand how America's current racial landscape came to be. -- Garrett Epps, professor of law, University of Baltimore, and author of Democracy Reborn: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post-Civil War America A magisterial assessment of a U.S. Supreme Court's grievous moral collapse...a definitive work on the 1896 legal drama that afflicts us to this day. -- David Simon, author and creator of HBO's The Wire This is a compulsively readable work of serious history, the absorbing and timely story of a disastrous U.S. Supreme Court decision, freshly told through the lives of those directly involved. Steve Luxenberg's scholarship is deep and impressive; his writing even more so. This is history as it was lived, giving us a sense not only of the deep racism of the period, but the struggle of decent men and women to overcome it, in society and, most importantly, in themselves. -- Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down and Hue 1968: A Turning Point in the American War in Vietnam Forensically researched, deeply moving, devastatingly relevant. -- Katherine Boo, author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity Riveting and deeply researched, Separate tells the story surrounding one of the nation's most devastating acts: drawing a sharp color line between black and white after the Civil War. The Plessy case was a knife that cleaved America, and Steve Luxenberg brilliantly reveals that divide with his rich narrative of admirable and flawed characters caught in the battle over racial justice. Every paragraph resonates in today's headlines. -- Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs, and professor of history, Tulane University A surprising, compelling, and brilliant milestone in understanding the history of race relations in America. -- Bob Woodward, author of Fear: Trump in the White House


Luxenberg brilliantly tackles a difficult task, presenting his solidly researched work clearly and with a restrained objectivity....An engaging and sensitive exploration of America's detour from the promise of equal protection. -- Kirkus (starred review) A rich, complex, and all too human story, replete with ironies and unintended consequences. This is 'big history,' deeply researched and well-told. -- from the J. Anthony Lukas Award Citation This is a compulsively readable work of serious history, the absorbing and timely story of a disastrous U.S. Supreme Court decision, freshly told through the lives of those directly involved. Steve Luxenberg's scholarship is deep and impressive; his writing even more so. This is history as it was lived, giving us a sense not only of the deep racism of the period, but the struggle of decent men and women to overcome it, in society and, most importantly, in themselves. -- Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down and Hue 1968: A Turning Point in the American War in Vietnam Forensically researched, deeply moving, devastatingly relevant. -- Katherine Boo, author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity Riveting and deeply researched, Separate tells the story surrounding one of the nation's most devastating acts: drawing a sharp color line between black and white after the Civil War. The Plessy case was a knife that cleaved America, and Steve Luxenberg brilliantly reveals that divide with his rich narrative of admirable and flawed characters caught in the battle over racial justice. Every paragraph resonates in today's headlines. -- Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs, and professor of history, Tulane University A surprising, compelling, and brilliant milestone in understanding the history of race relations in America. -- Bob Woodward, author of Fear: Trump in the White House


A rich, complex, and all too human story, replete with ironies and unintended consequences. This is 'big history,' deeply researched and well-told. -- J. Anthony Lukas Award Citation This is a compulsively readable work of serious history, the absorbing and timely story of a disastrous U.S. Supreme Court decision, freshly told through the lives of those directly involved. Steve Luxenberg's scholarship is deep and impressive; his writing even more so. This is history as it was lived, giving us a sense not only of the deep racism of the period, but the struggle of decent men and women to overcome it, in society and, most importantly, in themselves. -- Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down and Hue 1968: A Turning Point in the American War in Vietnam Riveting and deeply researched, Separate tells the story surrounding one of the nation's most devastating acts: drawing a sharp color line between black and white after the Civil War. The Plessy case was a knife that cleaved America, and Steve Luxenberg brilliantly reveals that divide with his rich narrative of admirable and flawed characters caught in the battle over racial justice. Every paragraph resonates in today's headlines. -- Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and professor of history, Tulane University A surprising, compelling, and brilliant milestone in understanding the history of race relations in America. -- Bob Woodward, author of Fear: Trump in the White House


Author Information

Steve Luxenberg is the author of Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America's Journey from Slavery to Segregation and the critically acclaimed Annie's Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret. During his thirty years as a Washington Post senior editor, he has overseen reporting that has earned numerous national honors, including two Pulitzer Prizes. Separate won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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