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The Politics of White Rights

The Politics Of White Rights: Race, Justice, And Integrating Alabama's Schools


In The Politics of White Rights, Joseph Bagley recounts the history of school desegregation litigation in Alabama, focusing on the malleability and durability of white resistance. He argues that the litigious battles of 1954-73 taught Alabama's segregationists how to fashion a more subtle defense of white privilege, placing them in the vanguard of a new conservatism oriented toward the Sunbelt, not the South. Scholars have recently begun uncovering the ways in which segregationists abandoned violent backlash and overt economic reprisal and learned how to rearticulate their resistance and blind others to their racial motivations. Bagley is most interested in a creedal commitment to maintaining "law and order," which lay at the heart of this transition. Before it was a buzz phrase meant to conjure up fears of urban black violence, "law and order" represented a politics that allowed self-styled white moderates to begrudgingly accept token desegregation and to begin to stake their own claims to constitutional rights without forcing them to repudiate segregation or white supremacy. Federal courts have, as recently as 2014, agreed that Alabama's property tax system is crippling black education. Bagley argues that this is because, in the late 1960s, the politics of law and order became a politics of white rights, which supported not only white flight to suburbs and private schools but also nominally color-blind changes in the state's tax code. These changes were designed to shield white money from the needs of increasingly black public education. Activists and courts have been powerless to do anything about them, because twenty years of desperate litigious combat finally taught Alabama lawmakers how to erect constitutional bulwarks that could withstand a legal assault.



  • Condition: --
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    • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
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    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Sold by: --
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Univ of Georgia Pr
  • ISBN-13: 9780820354194
  • ISBN: 0820354198
  • Publication Year: 2018
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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
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  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
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Conditions Guide
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