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Equality: An American Dilemma, 1866–1896 by Charles Postel (review)

Equality: An American Dilemma, 1866–1896 by Charles Postel (review) political power. While Gates introduces us to new black thinkers such as Victoria Earle Matthews, a New Negro critic, did jazz and folklore succeed where the New Negro did not? Gregory Mixon gregory mixon is a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Equality: An American Dilemma, 1866 –1896. By Charles Postel. (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019. Pp. 400. Cloth, $30.00; paper, $20.00.) In 1944, Swedish social scientist Gunner Myrdal described an “American dilemma.” He identified an “ever-raging conflict” between the high-minded values of the “American Creed” (essential human dignity, fundamental equality, and inalienable rights of freedom, justice, and fair opportunity) and continued prejudice and acts of oppression and alienation that ran counter to these principles. In Equality: An American Dilemma, 1866–1896, Charles Postel con- fronts a similar paradox with his in-depth analysis and dismantling of aspects of the American Creed in the late nineteenth century. Postel notes that equality during this period became “a catchall” for a whole manner of ideas where notions of equal opportunity “confronted the reality of unequal political, economic, and social power” (10). In the aftermath of the Civil War and Reconstruction, Americans refashioned their creed into principles http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Equality: An American Dilemma, 1866–1896 by Charles Postel (review)

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

political power. While Gates introduces us to new black thinkers such as Victoria Earle Matthews, a New Negro critic, did jazz and folklore succeed where the New Negro did not? Gregory Mixon gregory mixon is a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Equality: An American Dilemma, 1866 –1896. By Charles Postel. (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019. Pp. 400. Cloth, $30.00; paper, $20.00.) In 1944, Swedish social scientist Gunner Myrdal described an “American dilemma.” He identified an “ever-raging conflict” between the high-minded values of the “American Creed” (essential human dignity, fundamental equality, and inalienable rights of freedom, justice, and fair opportunity) and continued prejudice and acts of oppression and alienation that ran counter to these principles. In Equality: An American Dilemma, 1866–1896, Charles Postel con- fronts a similar paradox with his in-depth analysis and dismantling of aspects of the American Creed in the late nineteenth century. Postel notes that equality during this period became “a catchall” for a whole manner of ideas where notions of equal opportunity “confronted the reality of unequal political, economic, and social power” (10). In the aftermath of the Civil War and Reconstruction, Americans refashioned their creed into principles

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Aug 28, 2020

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