Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mack and MacLean Dialogue on Civil Rights History in Law and History Review

Hot off the (electronic) presses! Just posted today on the website of the Law and History Review is a lively exchange between Kenneth W. Mack (Harvard Law School) and Nancy MacLean (Northwestern University) on law and civil rights history that the journal will publish in Volume 27, no. 3 (Fall 2009).

Mack's essay, "Bringing the Law Back into the History of the Civil Rights Movement: Legal History Dialogue with Nancy MacLean," responds to MacLean's recent book, Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace. Mack describes the book as the "first major synthesis to bring law back into the social history of civil rights politics," and situates it within recent literature in legal history. (The essay is a must-read for graduate students preparing for general exams.)

MacLean's response, "Ideas for a New Agenda for the Study of African American Legal Liberalism in the Age of Obama," responds to Mack's comments and reflects on possibilities for scholars interested in African-American legal liberalism. The most striking comment that MacLean notes? "The papers of Barbara Jordan held by Texas Southern University have never been consulted by researchers, according to archivists there."

Somebody want to get on that?