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Mothers of Massive Resistance

White Women and the Politics of White Supremacy
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
4 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Why do white supremacist politics in America remain so powerful? Elizabeth Gillespie McRae argues that the answer lies with white women.

Examining racial segregation from 1920s to the 1970s, Mothers of Massive Resistance explores the grassroots workers who maintained the system of racial segregation and Jim Crow. For decades in rural communities, in university towns, and in New South cities, white women performed myriad duties that upheld white over black: censoring textbooks, denying marriage certificates, deciding on the racial identity of their neighbors, celebrating school choice, canvassing communities for votes, and lobbying elected officials. They instilled beliefs in racial hierarchies in their children, built national networks, and experimented with a color-blind political discourse.

With white women at the center of the story, the rise of postwar conservatism looks very different than the male-dominated narratives of the resistance to Civil Rights. Women like Nell Battle Lewis, Florence Sillers Ogden, Mary Dawson Cain, and Cornelia Dabney Tucker publicized threats to their Jim Crow world through political organizing, private correspondence, and journalism. Their efforts began before World War II and the Brown decision and persisted past the 1964 Civil Rights Act and anti-busing protests.

©2018 Oxford University Press (P)2018 Tantor

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loved it!

Loved it! it kept me listening none stop.
absolutely one of the best.
would recommend to my friends.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • X. Zu
  • State College, PA United States
  • 04-23-19

Thought-provoking, informative, and engaging!

Highly recommend if you want to understand how the “naturalness” of racial segregation is maintained and continue to be reincarnated today through the tireless work of white women’s labor. They are your white school teachers, white mothers and grandmas, white women clerks, ... watch out!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Phyllis
  • Glendale, WI, United States
  • 12-10-18

Dry as a Glass of Sauvignon Blanc

And not nearly as much fun. Were I on a committee for the author defending a dissertation, I might have struggled through the information.

As it was, there were lots of facts and statistics with no context. The relative importance of white southern women was never really clarified and there was never any clarity about the definition of “white southern women.” There was no theme and I kept waiting for the author to draw some sort of logical conclusion. Too broad to make much sense. Not worth the time or effort.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful