Cover: The Selma of the North: Civil Rights Insurgency in Milwaukee, from Harvard University PressCover: The Selma of the North in PAPERBACK

The Selma of the North

Civil Rights Insurgency in Milwaukee

Add to Cart

Product Details


$30.00 • £24.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674057296

Publication Date: 09/30/2010


360 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

19 halftones, 1 map


Anyone living in Milwaukee in the ’60s and old enough to be aware will recall a time of sharp tension. A riot erupted in the inner city during the summer of 1967, a year of unrest around the nation, and a white Roman Catholic priest organized black youth to march against the segregation that confined African Americans to Milwaukee’s poorest, most run-down quarter. Whites responded with violence. And the police were not amused by challenges to the status quo. The story is recounted with lucid scholarship in The Selma of the North: Civil Rights Insurgency in Milwaukee.—David Luhrssen, Express Milwaukee

Selma of the North is a solid entry into the expanding bookshelf on civil rights activism in the North, offering what Jones rightly calls ‘another tile to the mosaic’ of studies about the struggle for racial justice in the twentieth century.—Amanda I. Seligman, H-Net Reviews

A well-researched and fascinating narrative… Jones has produced an outstanding study of the civil rights movement in Milwaukee which should prove a model for investigations of other Northern cities.—Ron Briley, History News Network

This book fills a serious gap in the literature of the civil rights revolution, joining studies on other cities in laying the groundwork on race and civil rights in the postwar urban North. Jones tells a good story, capturing events that might otherwise be lost to history.—Arnold R. Hirsch, University of New Orleans

The Selma of the North is an insightful and invigorating addition to the growing literature on black freedom struggles outside of the South. Jones’s important and informative account writes Milwaukee back into the narrative of the civil rights–Black Power era and in the process expands our understanding of postwar America.—Peniel E. Joseph, Brandeis University

Think you know the full story of the civil rights era? Patrick Jones’s masterful study of the movement in Milwaukee will make you think again. Meticulously researched and elegantly written, The Selma of the North provides a devastating rebuttal of many of the conventional narratives of the civil rights movement. Here a vibrant nonviolent movement in the de-industrializing Midwest grows into a Black Power movement led by urban youth and a white Catholic priest who use confrontational direct action to lay bare the fissures of racial inequality in the ‘liberal’ North.—Jeanne Theoharis, Brooklyn College

A well-researched, well-written, and important history. Based on a rich array of sources, this book enhances our understanding of civil rights activism in the postwar urban North and establishes a useful foundation for the comparison of similar developments elsewhere in the country.—Joe William Trotter, Jr., Carnegie Mellon University

The Selma of the North is a riveting new story of the civil rights movement in America, a tale on par with Selma, Birmingham, and Montgomery in its power and importance. Jones’s magisterial research and magnetic prose illuminate the untold story of the battle for the urban north in the 1960s, a battle that shows how race has always been the Achilles heel of white progressives. This story transcends easy dichotomies of black and white, North and South, radical and reformist. How did a group called ‘the Commandos’ define nonviolence? How did a white Catholic priest become a ‘Black Power’ leader? If this is not a saga for the age of Obama, I don’t know what is.—Timothy B. Tyson, author of Blood Done Sign My Name

Awards & Accolades

  • 2010 Book Award of Merit, State Historical Society of Wisconsin
  • Co-Winner, 2009 Gambrinus Prize, Milwaukee County Historical Society
  • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2009
Murty Classical Library of India

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene