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Look Inside Recasting American Liberty

Recasting American Liberty
Gender, Race, Law, and the Railroad Revolution, 1865–1920

$113.00 (C)

Part of Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society

  • Date Published: August 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521640206

$ 113.00 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Through courtroom dramas from 1865 to 1920, Recasting American Liberty offers a dramatic reconsideration of the critical role railroads, and their urban counterpart, streetcars, played in transforming the conditions of individual liberty at the dawn of the 20th century. The three-part narrative, focusing on the law of accidental injury, nervous shock, and racial segregation in public transit, captures Americans' journey from a cultural and legal ethos celebrating manly independence and autonomy to one that recognized and sought to protect the individual against the corporate power, modern technology and modern urban space.

    • Will appeal to historians of gender and race as well as legal historians
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "In this well-written book, Barbara Young Welke offers a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis...[her] book should appeal to scholars in many fields, especially those interested in law..." American Journal of Sociology

    "Welke has written a perceptive and intriguing analysis that not only sheds light on the social and communal effects of rail traffic but also provide a glimpse of the personal consequences of technological change, safety regulations, and policy decisions....This well-organized and extensively documented work considers the significance of such issues as physical and psychological injuries associated with rail traffic as well as the role that gendered policies and racial segregation played in the meaning of individual liberty in industrializing the US." Choice

    "[An] outstanding work of social and legal history..." Journal of Interdisciplinary History

    "Welke's study...is a welcome addition to the growing literature on how railroading shaped legal culture. Based upon meticulous research in legal records, it will stimulate debate and deserves a large audience." H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2001
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521640206
    • length: 426 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.79kg
    • contains: 17 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Body: Accidental Injury:
    1. The railway journey (i): the technological transformation
    2. Gendered journeys (i): physical vulnerability
    3. The law of accidental injury
    Junction: pain and suffering
    Part II. Mind and Body: Nervous Shock:
    4. The railway journey (ii): the psychological transformation
    5. Gendered journeys (ii): psychological vulnerability
    6. The law of nervous shock
    Junction: truth, legal storytelling, and the performance of injury
    Part III. Person: Racial Segregation:
    7. The Railway journey (iii): the spatial transformation
    8. Gendered journeys (iii): status vulnerability
    9. The law of racial segregation.

  • Author

    Barbara Young Welke, University of Minnesota

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