A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882-1930

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University of Illinois Press, 1995 - Social Science - 297 pages
This finely detailed statistical study of lynching in ten southern states shows that economic and status concerns were at the heart of that violent
practice. Stewart Tolnay and E. M. Beck empirically test competing explanations of the causes of lynching, using U.S. Census and historical voting data and a newly constructed inventory of southern lynch victims. Among their surprising findings: lynching responded to fluctuations in the price of cotton, decreasing in frequency when prices rose and increasing when they fell.
 

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Contents

A Legacy of Racial Violence
1
A Portrait of the Lynching Era 18801930
17
Social Threat Competition and Mob Violence
55
Lynching as Popular Justice
86
The Role of King Cotton
119
Southern Politics and Lynching 18801900
166
The Great Migration and the Demise of Lynching
202
The Tragedy of Lynching An Overview
239
The Creation of a New Inventory of Southern Lynchings
259
Types of Errors and Other Problems in Existing Inventories
265
Miscellaneous Tables
269
References
277
Index
289
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Stewart E. Tolnay, a professor of sociology and director of the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis at the State University of New York at Albany, is coeditor of The Changing American Family: Sociological and Demographic Perspectives.E.M. Beck, professor and head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Georgia, is coauthor of Industrial Invasion of Nonmetropolitan America.

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