front cover of Abolition Of White Democracy
Abolition Of White Democracy
Joel Olson
University of Minnesota Press, 2004

front cover of About Faces
About Faces
Physiognomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain
Sharrona Pearl
Harvard University Press, 2010

When nineteenth-century Londoners looked at each other, what did they see, and how did they want to be seen? Sharrona Pearl reveals the way that physiognomy, the study of facial features and their relationship to character, shaped the way that people understood one another and presented themselves.

Physiognomy was initially a practice used to get information about others, but soon became a way to self-consciously give information—on stage, in print, in images, in research, and especially on the street. Moving through a wide range of media, Pearl shows how physiognomical notions rested on instinct and honed a kind of shared subjectivity. She looks at the stakes for framing physiognomy—a practice with a long history—as a science in the nineteenth century.

By showing how physiognomy gave people permission to judge others, Pearl holds up a mirror both to Victorian times and our own.

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Above the Well
An Antiracist Literacy Argument from a Boy of Color
Asao B. Inoue
University Press of Colorado, 2021
Above the Well explores race, language and literacy education through a combination of scholarship, personal history, and even a bit of fiction. Inoue comes to terms with his own languaging practices in his upbring and schooling, while also arguing that there are racist aspects to English language standards promoted in schools and civic life. His discussion includes the ways students and everyone in society are judged by and through tacit racialized languaging, which he labels White language supremacy and contributes to racialized violence in the world today. Inoue’s exploration ranges a wide array of topics: His experiences as a child playing Dungeons and Dragons with his twin brother; considerations of Taoist and Western dialectic logics; the economics of race and place; tacit language race wars waged in classrooms with style guides like Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style; and the damaging Horatio Alger narratives for people of color.
 
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Adoption across Race and Nation
US Histories and Legacies
Edited by Silke Hackenesch
The Ohio State University Press, 2022
Legacies of (un)belonging have historical roots and resonate across quite different contexts of transracial and transnational adoption. In Adoption across Race and Nation activists, adoptees, and scholars across a range of fields—history, childhood studies, cultural anthropology, gender studies, social policy, and more—ask: What are the experiences of dual-heritage adoptees, and how have configurations of kinship, culture, and identity shaped their lives? How have transnationally and transracially adopted children approached their Americanness, their American whiteness, their American Blackness, their Asian Americanness? How do “border crises” turn “adoptable children” into revenue streams for countries, exposing the vulnerability of immigrant families of color? Offering case studies of post–World War II and Cold War adoptions of Black German and Black Korean children, Adoption across Race and Nation probes the intersections of race and nation as well as immigration and citizenship. It thus demonstrates that in the past as well as today, adoption, nation, and race continue to operate as relational categories with immediate effects on normative notions of family and kinship, belonging, the role of the state, and social welfare.

Contributors: Silke Hackenesch, Laura Briggs, Pamela Anne Quiroz, Eleana J. Kim, Kim Park Nelson, Amy E. Traver, Kori A. Graves, Tracey Owens Patton, Rosemarie H. Peña, Peter Selman
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Afro-Sweden
Becoming Black in a Color-Blind Country
Ryan Thomas Skinner
University of Minnesota Press, 2022

A compelling examination of Sweden’s African and Black diaspora

Contemporary Sweden is a country with a worldwide progressive reputation, despite an undeniable tradition of racism within its borders. In the face of this contradiction of culture and history, Afro-Swedes have emerged as a vibrant demographic presence, from generations of diasporic movement, migration, and homemaking. In Afro-Sweden, Ryan Thomas Skinner uses oral histories, archival research, ethnography, and textual analysis to explore the history and culture of this diverse and growing Afro-European community.

Skinner employs the conceptual themes of “remembering” and “renaissance” to illuminate the history and culture of the Afro-Swedish community, drawing on the rich theoretical traditions of the African and Black diaspora. Remembering fosters a sustained meditation on Afro-Swedish social history, while Renaissance indexes a thriving Afro-Swedish public culture. Together, these concepts illuminate significant existential modes of Afro-Swedish being and becoming, invested in and contributing to the work of global Black studies.

The first scholarly monograph in English to focus specifically on the African and Black diaspora in Sweden, Afro-Sweden emphasizes the voices, experiences, practices, knowledge, and ideas of these communities. Its rigorously interdisciplinary approach to understanding diasporic communities is essential to contemporary conversations around such issues as the status and identity of racialized populations in Europe and the international impact of Black Lives Matter.

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front cover of After Prison
After Prison
Navigating Adulthood in the Shadow of the Justice System
David J. Harding
Russell Sage Foundation, 2020
The incarceration rate in the United States is the highest of any developed nation, with a prison population of approximately 2.3 million in 2016. Over 700,000 prisoners are released each year, and most face significant educational, economic, and social disadvantages. In After Prison, sociologist David Harding and criminologist Heather Harris provide a comprehensive account of young men’s experiences of reentry and reintegration in the era of mass incarceration. They focus on the unique challenges faced by 1,300 black and white youth aged 18 to 25 who were released from Michigan prisons in 2003, investigating the lives of those who achieved some measure of success after leaving prison as well as those who struggled with the challenges of creating new lives for themselves.

The transition to young adulthood typically includes school completion, full-time employment, leaving the childhood home, marriage, and childbearing, events that are disrupted by incarceration. While one quarter of the young men who participated in the study successfully transitioned into adulthood—achieving employment and residential independence and avoiding arrest and incarceration—the same number of young men remained deeply involved with the criminal justice system, spending on average four out of the seven years after their initial release re-incarcerated. Not surprisingly, whites are more likely to experience success after prison. The authors attribute this racial disparity to the increased stigma of criminal records for blacks, racial discrimination, and differing levels of social network support that connect whites to higher quality jobs. Black men earn less than white men, are more concentrated in industries characterized by low wages and job insecurity, and are less likely to remain employed once they have a job.

   The authors demonstrate that families, social networks, neighborhoods, and labor market, educational, and criminal justice institutions can have a profound impact on young people’s lives. Their research indicates that residential stability is key to the transition to adulthood. Harding and Harris make the case for helping families, municipalities, and non-profit organizations provide formerly incarcerated young people access to long-term supportive housing and public housing. A remarkably large number of men in this study eventually enrolled in college, reflecting the growing recognition of college as a gateway to living wage work. But the young men in the study spent only brief spells in college, and the majority failed to earn degrees. They were most likely to enroll in community colleges, trade schools, and for-profit institutions, suggesting that interventions focused on these kinds of schools are more likely to be effective. The authors suggest that, in addition to helping students find employment, educational institutions can aid reentry efforts for the formerly incarcerated by providing supports like childcare and paid apprenticeships.

            After Prison offers a set of targeted policy interventions to improve these young people’s chances: lifting restrictions on federal financial aid for education, encouraging criminal record sealing and expungement, and reducing the use of incarceration in response to technical parole violations. This book will be an important contribution to the fields of scholarly work on the criminal justice system and disconnected youth.
 
 
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front cover of Against Race
Against Race
Imagining Political Culture beyond the Color Line
Paul Gilroy
Harvard University Press, 2000

After all the “progress” made since World War II in matters pertaining to race, why are we still conspiring to divide humanity into different identity groups based on skin color? Did all the good done by the Civil Rights Movement and the decolonization of the Third World have such little lasting effect?

In this provocative book, Paul Gilroy contends that race-thinking has distorted the finest promises of modern democracy. He compels us to see that fascism was the principal political innovation of the twentieth century—and that its power to seduce did not die in a bunker in Berlin. Aren’t we in fact using the same devices the Nazis used in their movies and advertisements when we make spectacles of our identities and differences? Gilroy examines the ways in which media and commodity culture have become preeminent in our lives in the years since the 1960s and especially in the 1980s with the rise of hip-hop and other militancies. With this trend, he contends, much that was wonderful about black culture has been sacrificed in the service of corporate interests and new forms of cultural expression tied to visual technologies. He argues that the triumph of the image spells death to politics and reduces people to mere symbols.

At its heart, Against Race is a utopian project calling for the renunciation of race. Gilroy champions a new humanism, global and cosmopolitan, and he offers a new political language and a new moral vision for what was once called “anti-racism.”

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Alt-Labor and the New Politics of Workers' Rights
Daniel J. Galvin
Russell Sage Foundation, 2024
Over the last half century, two major developments have transformed the nature of workers’ rights and altered the pathways available to low-wage workers to combat their exploitation. First, while national labor law, which regulates unionization and collective bargaining, has grown increasingly ineffective, employment laws establishing minimal workplace standards have proliferated at the state and local levels. Second, as labor unions have declined, a diversity of small, under-resourced nonprofit “alt-labor” groups have emerged in locations across the United States to organize and support marginalized workers. In Alt-Labor and the New Politics of Workers’ Rights, political scientist Daniel J. Galvin draws on rich data and extensive interviews to examine the links between these developments. With nuance and insight, Galvin explains how alt-labor groups are finding creative ways to help their members while navigating the many organizational challenges and structural constraints they face in this new context.

Alt-labor groups have long offered their members services and organizing opportunities to contest their unfair treatment on the job. But many groups have grown frustrated by the limited impact of these traditional strategies and have turned to public policy to scale up their work. They have successfully led campaigns to combat wage theft, raise the minimum wage, improve working conditions, strengthen immigrants’ rights, and more. These successes present something of a puzzle: relative to their larger, wealthier, and better-connected opponents, alt-labor groups are small, poor, and weak. Their members are primarily low-wage immigrant workers and workers of color who are often socially, economically, and politically marginalized. With few exceptions, the groups lack large dues-paying memberships and are dependent on philanthropic foundations and other unpredictable sources of funding. How, given their myriad challenges, have alt-labor groups managed to make gains for their members?

Galvin reveals that alt-labor groups are leveraging their deep roots in local communities, their unique position in the labor movement, and the flexibility of their organizational forms to build their collective power and extend their reach. A growing number of groups have also become more politically engaged and have set out to alter their political environments by cultivating more engaged citizens, influencing candidate selection processes, and expanding government capacities. These efforts seek to enhance alt-labor groups’ probabilities of success in the near term while incrementally shifting the balance of power over the long term.

Alt-Labor and the New Politics of Workers’ Rights comprehensively details alt-labor’s turn to policy and politics, provides compelling insights into the dilemmas the groups now face, and illuminates how their efforts have both invigorated and complicated the American labor movement.
 
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front cover of America Classifies the Immigrants
America Classifies the Immigrants
From Ellis Island to the 2020 Census
Joel Perlmann
Harvard University Press, 2018

When more than twenty million immigrants arrived in the United States between 1880 and 1920, the government attempted to classify them according to prevailing ideas about race and nationality. But this proved hard to do. Ideas about racial or national difference were slippery, contested, and yet consequential—were “Hebrews” a “race,” a “religion,” or a “people”? As Joel Perlmann shows, a self-appointed pair of officials created the government’s 1897 List of Races and Peoples, which shaped exclusionary immigration laws, the wording of the U.S. Census, and federal studies that informed social policy. Its categories served to maintain old divisions and establish new ones.

Across the five decades ending in the 1920s, American immigration policy built increasingly upon the belief that some groups of immigrants were desirable, others not. Perlmann traces how the debates over this policy institutionalized race distinctions—between whites and nonwhites, but also among whites—in immigration laws that lasted four decades.

Despite a gradual shift among social scientists from “race” to “ethnic group” after the 1920s, the diffusion of this key concept among government officials and the public remained limited until the end of the 1960s. Taking up dramatic changes to racial and ethnic classification since then, America Classifies the Immigrants concentrates on three crucial reforms to the American Census: the introduction of Hispanic origin and ancestry (1980), the recognition of mixed racial origins (2000), and a rethinking of the connections between race and ethnic group (proposed for 2020).

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front cover of American Congo
American Congo
Nan Elizabeth Woodruff
Harvard University Press, 2003

This is the story of how rural Black people struggled against the oppressive sharecropping system of the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta during the first half of the twentieth century. Here, white planters forged a world of terror and poverty for Black workers, one that resembled the horrific deprivations of the African Congo under Belgium’s King Leopold II.

Delta planters did not cut off the heads and hands of their African American workers but, aided by local law enforcement, they engaged in peonage, murder, theft, and disfranchisement. As individuals and through collective struggle, in conjunction with national organizations like the NAACP and local groups like the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union, Black men and women fought back, demanding a just return for their crops and laying claim to a democratic vision of citizenship. Their efforts were amplified by the two world wars and the depression, which expanded the mobility and economic opportunities of Black people and provoked federal involvement in the region.

Nan Woodruff shows how the freedom fighters of the 1960s would draw on this half-century tradition of protest, thus expanding our standard notions of the civil rights movement and illuminating a neglected but significant slice of the American Black experience.

[more]

front cover of American Magnitude
American Magnitude
Hemispheric Vision and Public Feeling in the United States
Christa J. Olson
The Ohio State University Press, 2021

Winner, 2023 Rhetoric Society of America Book Award

Winner, 2022 Marie Hochmuth Nichols Award from the National Communication Association


At a moment in US politics when racially motivated nationalism, shifting relations with Latin America, and anxiety over national futures intertwine, understanding the long history of American preoccupation with magnitude and how it underpins national identity is vitally important. In American Magnitude, Christa J. Olson tracks the visual history of US appeals to grandeur, import, and consequence (megethos), focusing on images that use the wider Americas to establish US character. Her sources—including lithographs from the US-Mexican War, pre–Civil War paintings of the Andes, photo essays of Machu Picchu, and WWII-era films promoting hemispheric unity—span from 1845 to 1950 but resonate into the present. 

Olson demonstrates how those crafting the appeals that feed the US national imaginary—artists, scientists, journalists, diplomats, and others—have invited US audiences to view Latin America as a foil for the greatness of their own nation and encouraged white US publics in particular to see themselves as especially American among Americans. She reveals how each instance of visual rhetoric relies upon the eyes of others to instantiate its magnitude—and falters as some viewers look askance instead. The result is the possibility of a post-magnitude United States: neither great nor failed, but modest, partial, and imperfect.


 
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front cover of American Oracle
American Oracle
The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era
David W. Blight
Harvard University Press, 2013

“The ghosts of the Civil War never leave us, as David Blight knows perhaps better than anyone, and in this superb book he masterfully unites two distant but inextricably bound events.”Ken Burns

Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, a century after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Martin Luther King, Jr., declared, “One hundred years later, the Negro still is not free.” He delivered this speech just three years after the Virginia Civil War Commission published a guide proclaiming that “the Centennial is no time for finding fault or placing blame or fighting the issues all over again.”

David Blight takes his readers back to the centennial celebration to determine how Americans then made sense of the suffering, loss, and liberation that had wracked the United States a century earlier. Amid cold war politics and civil rights protest, four of America’s most incisive writers explored the gulf between remembrance and reality. Robert Penn Warren, the southern-reared poet-novelist who recanted his support of segregation; Bruce Catton, the journalist and U.S. Navy officer who became a popular Civil War historian; Edmund Wilson, the century’s preeminent literary critic; and James Baldwin, the searing African-American essayist and activist—each exposed America’s triumphalist memory of the war. And each, in his own way, demanded a reckoning with the tragic consequences it spawned.

Blight illuminates not only mid-twentieth-century America’s sense of itself but also the dynamic, ever-changing nature of Civil War memory. On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the war, we have an invaluable perspective on how this conflict continues to shape the country’s political debates, national identity, and sense of purpose.

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front cover of America’s New Racial Battle Lines
America’s New Racial Battle Lines
Protect versus Repair
Rogers M. Smith and Desmond King
University of Chicago Press, 2024

A sobering portrait of the United States’s divided racial politics.

For nearly two decades, Rogers M. Smith and Desmond King have charted the shifting racial policy alliances that have shaped American politics across different eras. In America’s New Racial Battle Lines, they show that US racial policy debates are undergoing fundamental change. Disputes over colorblind versus race-conscious policies have given way to new lines of conflict. Today’s conservatives promise to protect traditionalist, predominantly white, Christian Americans against what they call the “radical” Left. Meanwhile, today’s progressives seek not just to integrate American institutions but to more fully transform and “repair” pervasive systemic racism.

Drawing on interviews with activists, surveys, social network analyses, and comprehensive reviews of federal, state, and local policies and advocacy groups, Smith and King map the memberships and goals of two rival racial policy alliances and delineate the contrasting stories each side tells. They also show that these increasingly polarized racial policy alliances are substantially funded on both the Left and Right.

Placing today’s conflicts in theoretical and historical perspectives, Smith and King analyze where these intensifying clashes may take the nation in the years ahead. They highlight the great potential for mounting violence, as well as the remaining possibilities for finding common ground.

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front cover of America's Peacemakers
America's Peacemakers
The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights
Bertram Levine
University of Missouri Press, 2020
America's Peacemakers: The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights tells the behind-the-scenes story of a small federal agency that made a big difference in civil rights conflicts over the last half century. In this second edition of Resolving Racial Conflict: The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights, 1964–1989, Grande Lum continues Bertram Levine’s excellent scholarship, expanding the narrative to consider the history of the Community Relations Service (CRS) of the U.S. Department of Justice over the course of the last three decades. That the Trump administration has sought to eliminate CRS gives this book increased urgency and relevance.
 
Covered in this expanded edition are the post–9/11 efforts of the CRS to prevent violence and hate crimes against those perceived as Middle Eastern. Also discussed are the cross-border Elián González custody dispute and the notable tragedies of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, both of which brought police interaction with communities of color back into the spotlight.  

The 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act substantially altered CRS’s jurisdiction, which began to focus on gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, and disability in addition to race, color, and national origin. Lum’s documentation of this expanded jurisdiction provides insight into the progression of civil rights. The ongoing story of the Community Relations Service is a crucial component of the national narrative on civil rights and conflict resolution. This new edition will be highly informative to all readers and useful to professionals and academics in the civil rights, dispute resolution, domestic and international peacemaking, and law enforcement-community relations fields.

 
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front cover of The Anatomy of Racial Inequality
The Anatomy of Racial Inequality
Glenn C. Loury
Harvard University Press, 2002

Speaking wisely and provocatively about the political economy of race, Glenn C. Loury has become one of our most prominent black intellectuals—and, because of his challenges to the orthodoxies of both left and right, one of the most controversial. A major statement of a position developed over the past decade, this book both epitomizes and explains Loury’s understanding of the depressed conditions of so much of black society today—and the origins, consequences, and implications for the future of these conditions.

Using an economist’s approach, Loury describes a vicious cycle of tainted social information that has resulted in a self-replicating pattern of racial stereotypes that rationalize and sustain discrimination. His analysis shows how the restrictions placed on black development by stereotypical and stigmatizing racial thinking deny a whole segment of the population the possibility of self-actualization that American society reveres—something that many contend would be undermined by remedies such as affirmative action. On the contrary, this book persuasively argues that the promise of fairness and individual freedom and dignity will remain unfulfilled without some forms of intervention based on race.

Brilliant in its account of how racial classifications are created and perpetuated, and how they resonate through the social, psychological, spiritual, and economic life of the nation, this compelling and passionate book gives us a new way of seeing—and, perhaps, seeing beyond—the damning categorization of race in America.

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front cover of The Anatomy of Racial Inequality
The Anatomy of Racial Inequality
With a New Preface
Glenn C. Loury
Harvard University Press, 2021

“Lifts and transforms the discourse on ‘race’ and racial justice to an entirely new level.”
—Orlando Patterson


“Intellectually rigorous and deeply thoughtful…An incisive, erudite book by a major thinker.”
—Gerald Early, New York Times Book Review


Why are black Americans so persistently confined to the margins of society? And why do they fail across so many metrics—wages, unemployment, income levels, test scores, incarceration rates, health outcomes? Known for his influential work on the economics of racial inequality and for pioneering the link between racism and social capital, Glenn Loury is not afraid of piercing orthodoxies and coming to controversial conclusions. In this now classic work, reconsidered in light of recent events, he describes how a vicious cycle of tainted social information helped create the racial stereotypes that rationalize and sustain discrimination, and suggests how this might be changed.

Brilliant in its account of how racial classifications are created and perpetuated, and how they resonate through the social, psychological, spiritual, and economic life of the nation, this compelling and passionate book gives us a new way of seeing—and of seeing beyond—the damning categorization of race.

“Paints in chilling detail the distance between Martin Luther King’s dream and the reality of present-day America.”
—Anthony Walton, Harper’s

“Loury provides an original and highly persuasive account of how the American racial hierarchy is sustained and reproduced over time. And he then demands that we begin the deep structural reforms that will be necessary to stop its continued reproduction.”
—Michael Walzer

“He is a genuine maverick thinker…The Anatomy of Racial Inequality both epitomizes and explains Loury’s understanding of the depressed conditions of so much of black society today.”
New York Times Magazine

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front cover of Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836-1986
Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836-1986
By David Montejano
University of Texas Press, 1987

Winner, Frederick Jackson Turner Award, Organization Of American Historians, 1988
American Historical Association, Pacific Branch Book Award, 1989
Texas Institute of Letters Friends Of The Dallas Public Library Award, 1987
Texas Historical Commission T. R. Fehrenbach Award, Best Ethnic, Minority, And Women's History Publication, 1987

A major work on the history of Mexicans in Texas and the relations between Mexicans and Anglos.
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front cover of Animals and Race
Animals and Race
Jonathan W. Thurston-Torres
Michigan State University Press, 2023
The intersection of race and species has a long and problematic history. Western thinking specifically has demonstrated a societal need to try to conceive of race as a purely biological fact rather than a social construct. This book is an academic-activist challenge to that instinct, prioritizing anti-racism in its observation of the animal–race intersection. Too often, as Bénédicte Boisseron has indicated, this intersection typically appears in the form of animal activists instrumentalizing racial discrimination as a vehicle to approach animal rights. But why does this intersection exist, and, perhaps more importantly, how can we challenge it moving forward? This volume examines those two critical questions, taking an interdisciplinary approach in moving across subjects including art history, film studies, American history, and digital media analysis. Our interpretation of animals has, for centuries, been fundamental in the development of Western race thinking. This collection of essays looks at how this perspective contributes to the construction of racial discrimination, prioritizing ways to read the animal in our culture as a means for working to dismantle this conception.
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An Appeal to the Ladies of Hyderabad
Scandal in the Raj
Benjamin B. Cohen
Harvard University Press, 2019

The dramatic story of Mehdi Hasan and Ellen Donnelly, whose marriage convulsed high society in nineteenth-century India and whose notorious trial and fall reverberated throughout the British Empire, setting the benchmark for Victorian scandals.

In April 1892, a damning pamphlet circulated in the south Indian city of Hyderabad, the capital of the largest and wealthiest princely state in the British Raj. An anonymous writer charged Mehdi Hasan, an aspiring Muslim lawyer from the north, and Ellen Donnelly, his Indian-born British wife, with gross sexual misconduct and deception. The scandal that ensued sent shock waves from Calcutta to London. Who wrote this pamphlet, and was it true?

Mehdi and Ellen had risen rapidly among Hyderabad’s elites. On a trip to London they even met Queen Victoria. Not long after, a scurrilous pamphlet addressed to “the ladies of Hyderabad” charged the couple with propagating a sham marriage for personal gain. Ellen, it was claimed, had been a prostitute, and Mehdi was accused of making his wife available to men who could advance his career. To avenge his wife and clear his name, Mehdi filed suit against the pamphlet’s printer, prompting a trial that would alter their lives.

Based on private letters, courtroom transcripts, secret government reports, and scathing newspaper accounts, Benjamin Cohen’s riveting reconstruction of the couple’s trial and tribulations lays bare the passions that ran across racial lines and the intimate betrayals that doomed the Hasans. Filled with accusations of midnight trysts and sexual taboos, An Appeal to the Ladies of Hyderabad is a powerful reminder of the perils facing those who tried to rewrite society’s rules. In the struggle of one couple, it exposes the fault lines that would soon tear a world apart.

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