Saturday, January 15, 2011

Masur on Reconstuction-Era Washington at the Wilson Center

The United States Studies Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has announced a book discussion on An Example for all the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, DC. Panelists will be the author, Kate Masur, Associate Professor of History, Northwestern University, and commentators Adam Rothman, Associate Professor of History, Georgetown University; Maurice Jackson, Associate Professor of History, Georgetown University; and (legislative schedule permitting) Jamin Raskin, Maryland State Senator and Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law. The session will be held on Thursday, January 20, 2010, 3:00pm – 5:00 p.m., in the Fifth Floor Conference Room of the Woodrow Wilson Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. The Center requests RSVPs (acceptances only) to this free public event to

Says the Wilson Center:
In An Example for All the Land, Kate Masur offers a critical study of Washington during Reconstruction. Slavery’s demise spurred a national debate over the distribution of rights across racial lines. Masur follows this debate as it plays out in Washington, recounting how the capital became the nation’s vanguard of racial equality, and later – the political opposition sparked by this transformation. She reveals Washington as a laboratory for social policy during a pivotal era, and brings the question of equality to the forefront of Reconstruction scholarship.
Among the blurbs on the book from the University of North Carolina Press’s website are the following:
"An Example for all the Land, clearly argued and deeply researched, represents a significant breakthrough in the crowded field of Reconstruction scholarship. Showing how Washington, D.C. became a laboratory for political experimentation, Masur reveals important new facets to the process of emancipation, the fight for racial justice, and the reconstruction of democracy for all Americans."
--Laura F. Edwards, author of The People and Their Peace: Legal Culture and the Transformation of Inequality in the Post-Revolutionary South

"The constriction of citizenship rights in the nation's capital is a story little told but rich with both symbolic and practical meaning. Masur's intriguing history of Reconstruction in the District is justified and fruitful."
--Jane Dailey, University of Chicago