Monday, March 16, 2009

Pg. 99: Peggy Pascoe's "What Comes Naturally"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America by Peggy Pascoe.

About the book, from the publisher:
A long-awaited history that promises to dramatically change our understanding of race in America, What Comes Naturally traces the origins, spread, and demise of miscegenation laws in the United States--laws that banned interracial marriage and sex, most often between whites and members of other races. Peggy Pascoe demonstrates how these laws were enacted and applied not just in the South but throughout most of the country, in the West, the North, and the Midwest. Beginning in the Reconstruction era, when the term miscegenation first was coined, she traces the creation of a racial hierarchy that bolstered white supremacy and banned the marriage of Whites to Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, and American Indians as well as the marriage of Whites to Blacks. She ends not simply with the landmark 1967 case of Loving v. Virginia, in which the Supreme Court finally struck down miscegenation laws throughout the country, but looks at the implications of ideas of colorblindness that replaced them. What Comes Naturally is both accessible to the general reader and informative to the specialist, a rare feat for an original work of history based on archival research.
Learn more What Comes Naturally about at the Oxford University Press website.

What Comes Naturally has just been awarded two prizes by the Organization of American Historians: the Lawrence Levine Prize for the best book on American cultural history, and the Ellis Hawley Prize for the best book on political economy and American institutions.

Peggy Pascoe is Beekman Professor of Northwest and Pacific History and Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon.

The Page 99 Test: What Comes Naturally.

--Marshal Zeringue