Black Trials: Citizenship from the Beginnings of Slavery to the End of Caste

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - History - 448 pages
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   From a brilliant young legal scholar comes this sweeping history of American ideas of belonging and citizenship, told through the stories of fourteen legal cases that helped to shape our nation.
   Spanning three centuries, Black Trials details the legal challenges and struggles that helped define the ever-shifting identity of blacks in America. From the well-known cases of Plessy v. Ferguson and the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings to the more obscure trial of Joseph Hanno, an eighteenth-century free black man accused of murdering his wife and bringing smallpox to Boston, Weiner recounts the essential dramas of American identity—illuminating where our conception of minority rights has come from and where it might go. Significant and enthralling, these are the cases that forced the courts and the country to reconsider what it means to be black in America, and Mark Weiner demonstrates their lasting importance for our society.


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Black trials: citizenship from the beginnings of slavery to the end of caste

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Weiner (law, Rutgers Univ., Newark) deploys a provocative series of stories to place in a web of historical, legal, and social significance 14 trials treating blacks' status in America. Sweeping from ... Read full review


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About the author (2007)

Mark S. Weiner was born and raised in Los Angeles. After graduating from Stanford University, he received a Ph.D. in American studies and a law degree from Yale. He now teaches constitutional law, legal history, and legal ethics at Rutgers School of Law in Newark, New Jersey.

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