Recasting American liberty : gender, race, law, and the railroad revolution, 1865-1920 / Barbara Young Welke.

Welke, Barbara Young, 1958- [Browse]
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2001.
xx, 405 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


Cambridge historical studies in American law and society [More in this series]
Summary note
"Recasting American Liberty offers a dramatic reconsideration of how Americans' encounter on railroads and streetcars with corporate power, dangerous technologies, and modernized space reshaped both law and broader cultural assumptions about the relative obligations of individuals, corporate actors, and the state in safeguarding individual liberty in everyday life. The three-part narrative, focusing on the law of accidental injury, nervous shock, and racial segregation, captures Americans' gendered journey from a cultural and legal ethos celebrating manly independence and autonomy to one that recognized and sought to protect the individual against the vulnerability and lack of control characteristic of modern life." "At the book's heart are personal stories - men forced to jump from moving trains when trainmen refused to stop for men to alight, men and women emotionally wrecked from the trauma of a near-miss, black women barred from first-class ladies' cars because of their race, white women traumatized by a black man's presence in the car. Their stories and the law's response to them alter fundamentally how we understand the construction of law as well as how we understand the conditions of liberty at the dawn of the twentieth century."--Jacket.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
pt. I. The Body: Accidental Injury. 1. The Railway Journey: The Technological Transformation. 2. Gendered Journeys: Physical Vulnerability. 3. The Law of Accidental Injury. Junction: Pain and Suffering -- pt. II. Mind and Body: Nervous Shock. 4. The Railway Journey: The Psychological Transformation. 5. Gendered Journeys: Psychological Vulnerability. 6. The Law of Nervous Shock. Junction: Truth, Legal Storytelling, and the Performance of Injury -- pt. III. Person: Racial Segregation. 7. The Railway Journey: The Spatial Transformation. 8. Gendered Journeys: Status Vulnerability. 9. The Law of Racial Segregation.
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