Risa Goluboff’s Vagrant Nation tells the story of the legal challenges to vagrancy law from 1949 to 1972 and about a dynamic era of constitutional change. It features the bottom-up stories of soapbox orators, African Americans, civil rights activists, prostitutes, homosexuals, poor people, hippies, antiwar protesters, and other nonconformists who did not meet society’s definitions of respectability and morality. At the same time, it captures the equally heroic stories of the lawyers and Supreme Court justices who helped decriminalize vagrancy law. This lively narrative combines brilliant writing, exhaustive research, and in-depth analysis. It is not just a story about vagrancy; it reveals an overlooked aspect of America’s civil rights revolution during “the long 1960s.” Vagrant Nation exemplifies how legal historians can combine social history and constitutional history, and it makes a major contribution to legal scholarship about civil rights and civil liberties.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Goluboff's "Vagrant Nation" Wins Reid Prize
Here’s some more news from the recent ASLH meeting. The John Phillip Reid Book Award went to Risa Goluboff, UVA Law, for Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016). The selection committee, chaired by Brad Snyder and including Stuart Banner, Susan Carle, Laura Edwards, and Christian McMillen, prepared the following citation:.