"Sweeping and important.... Provides a fascinating vision of justice and history." --The Washington Post Book World
From the head of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission comes a landmark study of the ways in which prejudice has shaped American justice from the Civil War era to the present. With an ear tuned to the social subtext of every judicial decision, Mary Frances Berry examines a century's worth of appellate cases, ranging from a nineteenth-century Alabama case in which a white woman was denied her divorce petition because an affair between a white man (her husband) and a black woman (his lover) was "of no consequence," to such recent, high-profile cases as the William Kennedy Smith and O.J. Simpson trials. By turns shocking, moving, ironic, and tragic, each tale ends in the laying down of law. And because the law perpetuates myths of race, gender, and class, they are stories that affect the lives of us all.
About the Author
Mary Frances Berry was born in Nashville, Tennessee. She received a bachelor's and master's degree at Howard University, a doctorate in history from the University of Michigan, and a juris doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School.
Dr. Berry has received many awards for her public service and scholarly activities, among them the NAACP's Roy Wilkins Award and Image Award, the Rosa Parks Award of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Ebony Magazine Black Achievement Award.
In addition to having been the chairperson of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission for eleven years, Dr. Berry is the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches history of American law. She lives in Washington, D.C.
"From the Hardcover edition."
"Incisive and poignant...[The Pig Farmer's Daughter] tell[s] us how far we must go before becoming a truly colorblind society and why we must never abandon that journey." --St. Louis Post-Dispatch