Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mayeri's Reasoning from Race

Reasoning from Race: Feminism, Law, and the Civil Rights Revolution by Serena Mayeri (Pennsylvania--Law & History), which Harvard University Press will officially release on May 5th, 2011, already is available online. Here is the first paragraph of the publisher's description of the book:

Informed in 1944 that she was “not of the sex” entitled to be admitted to Harvard Law School, African American activist Pauli Murray confronted the injustice she called “Jane Crow.” In the 1960s and 1970s, the analogies between sex and race discrimination pioneered by Murray became potent weapons in the battle for women’s rights, as feminists borrowed rhetoric and legal arguments from the civil rights movement. Serena Mayeri’s Reasoning from Race is the first book to explore the development and consequences of this key feminist strategy.

Here are excerpts from endorsements of the book. Barbara Welke (Minnesota--History) writes: "Reasoning from Race sets as its ambition to trace the history of how sex-equality federal statutes and constitutional jurisprudence came to rely on and in turn often be limited by analogies to race. ... Mayeri succeeds brilliantly." Nancy MacLean (Duke--History) calls the book "powerful" and "important." And Laura Kalman (Cal-Santa Barbara--History) adds: "This brilliant book opens an entirely new window on the vexed relationship between civil rights and the women's movement."