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Law and Society in the South: A History of North Carolina Court Cases

by John W. Wertheimer

Availablepaperback$45.00x 978-0-8131-2615-9
Out of Printcloth$50.00x 978-0-8131-2535-0
New Directions in Southern History
292 pages  Pubdate: 08/01/2010  6 x 9 x .875  0

Law and Society in the South reconstructs eight pivotal legal disputes heard in North Carolina courts between the 1830s and the 1970s. Each case offers a vivid portrait of the laws, litigants, lawyers, judges, and affected communities, providing a better understanding of not only the Tar Heel State but also the South as a whole.
This book examines some of the most controversial issues of southern history, including white supremacy and racial topics, the teaching of evolution in public schools, the role of religion in society, and Prohibition. Law and Society in the South divulges the true nature of North Carolina courts: as the unpredictable venues of intense battles between southerners as they endured dramatic changes in their governing values.

John Wertheimer is professor of history at Davidson College. His articles have appeared in Law and History Review, North Carolina Historical Review, Journal of American History, and other publications.

"Captivating. Historiographically, a fresh exploration of key topics in the legal history of North Carolina, the South, and the nation, and pedagogically, a master teacher collaborating with successive cohorts of undergraduate fellow researchers. General readers and academics alike will learn from and enjoy the deep research, astute observations, and the fine writing."--Peter Wallenstein, author of Cradle of America: Four Centuries of Virginia History

"Historian John W. Wertheimer highlights legal cases tried in North Carolina courts that haped the state and society."--Fayetteville Observer-Times

"This book will appeal to readers who are interested in a detailed explanation of specific cases in North Carolina’s history. . . . It is well-written, interesting, and is sufficiently accessible to allow undergraduates to connect with the material."Law and Politics Book Review

"This book offers a plethora of interesting insights about the role and influence of North Carolina courts in responding to and furthering social change in various eras."--J. Michael McElreath, Journal of the North Carolina

"This may be the best one-volume introduction to the themes and methods of American legal history now in existence, which is all the more impressive because it is written out of the history of one state."--Alfred L. Brophy, Register of the Kentucky Historical

"This fascinating collection covers a broad range of social and legal issues and is well worth reading for both the legal issues explored and the details of conflicts that brought these cases before North Carolina courts."--Journal of American History

"Digs deeply into eight North Carolina cases from slavery times to the end of the civil rights era... a thoughtful and illuminating work."--Continuity and Change

Winner of the 2010 Willie Parker Peace Book Award.

winner of the 2010 Willie Parker Peace Book Award given by the North Carolina Society of Historians