Cover: Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching, from Harvard University PressCover: Southern Horrors in PAPERBACK

Southern Horrors

Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching

Fascinating… Feimster’s account challenges us to think again about race and sexual politics… [A] rich and detailed account… The work of Rebecca Felton and Ida Wells engaged with the implications of a form (although not a unique one) of sexual politics, and Feimster’s account should be rightly acclaimed as testament to these projects.—Mary Evans, Times Higher Education

An interesting, though somewhat disheartening, tale of the times, this book is destined for a special place in the classrooms and libraries of those concerned with sexual and racial politics. It is a readable study for those simply interested in the historical account, and is made so by multiple narratives of affected citizens, passages from diaries and newspapers, as well as the lives of the two main scholars.—Allena Tapia, San Francisco Book Review

Historian Crystal N. Feimster provides an opportunity to better understand the lack of sympathy between black and white suffragists and how lynching spurred both to the political activism that eventually won women the vote… This account leaves us with a sense of what made the fights for racial equality and women’s suffrage so complicated and contentious. We’re left, too, with an appreciation of the gumption both Wells and Felton showed entering a political fray resistant to their participation and unable to conceive of changes that seem so obviously necessary in hindsight.—Margaret Wheeler Johnson, Double X

Southern Horrors, a chilling tale that has been largely suppressed until now, exposes lynching as a gendered phenomenon in which southern women played a central role as actors and as victims. This is a breakthrough analysis of the role that lynching served in southern political culture.—Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, author of Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919–1950

Feimster’s compelling, and profoundly unsettling, history of rape and lynching illuminates the gendered racial politics of sexual violence in the aftermath of Emancipation.—Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University

Thoughtful and engaging, Crystal Feimster’s Southern Horrors forces us to rethink women’s history and the history of the American South. Accessible to students and general readers, this powerful story is told with originality and sophistication.—Suzanne Lebsock, author of A Murder in Virginia: Southern Justice on Trial

Southern Horrors, an impressive achievement, expands and deepens our understanding of the sexual and racial politics of the American South. Through the public careers of two women and a cast of thousands, Crystal Feimster compels us to grapple with the full dimensions of an American tragedy and the movements for change it set in motion.—Leon F. Litwack, author of Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow

Feimster traces the lives of two political incendiaries, Ida B. Wells and Rebecca Felton, who illuminate the landscape of American race and gender politics. Brilliantly analytical, strikingly well-narrated, this monumental book masters theme and story to reveal heretofore hidden histories of the women who both played and transformed the politics of rape and lynching in the New South.—Timothy B. Tyson, author of Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story

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Nicole Fleetwood and Monica Muñoz Martinez Awarded MacArthur Fellowships

Harvard University Press congratulates its authors Nicole Fleetwood and Monica Muñoz Martinez for being named to the 2021 class of 25 MacArthur Fellows. The prestigious no-strings-attached $625,000 awards are given to individuals “who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”