Lynching and Spectacle by Amy Louise Wood
Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940 (New Directions in Southern Studies)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

Lynch mobs in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America exacted horrifying public torture and mutilation on their victims. In Lynching and Spectacle, Amy Wood explains what it meant for white Americans to perform and witness these sadistic spectacles and how lynching played a role in establishing and affirming white supremacy. Lynching, Wood argues, overlapped with a variety of cultural practices and performances, both traditional and modern, including public executions, religious rituals, photography, and cinema, all which encouraged the horrific violence and gave it social acceptability. However, she also shows how the national dissemination of lynching images ultimately fueled the momentum of the antilynching movement and the decline of the practice. Using a wide range of sources, including photos, newspaper reports, pro- and antilynching pamphlets, early films, and local city and church records, Wood reconfigures our understanding of lynching's relationship to modern life.

Wood expounds on the critical role lynching spectacles played in establishing and affirming white supremacy at the turn of the century, particularly in towns and cities experiencing great social instability and change. She also shows how the national dissemination of lynching images fueled the momentum of the antilynching movement and ultimately led to the decline of lynching. By examining lynching spectacles alongside both traditional and modern practices and within both local and national contexts, Wood reconfigures our understanding of lynching's relationship to modern life.

 

About Amy Louise Wood

See more books from this Author
Amy Louise Wood is associate professor of history at Illinois State University.
 
Published February 1, 2011 by The University of North Carolina Press. 365 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Biographies & Memoirs, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lynching and Spectacle

Racism Review

Social evolutionary theories of the time specified quite plainly that white women were both fundamentally similar to white men (because of “race”) and fundamentally different from white men (because of “sex”).

Sep 15 2015 | Read Full Review of Lynching and Spectacle: Witne...

Racism Review

When I wanted to change my name to disrupt the legacy of white supremacy I’d inherited as a white girl in Texas, I chose Jessie Daniel Ames as my namesake.

Feb 11 2014 | Read Full Review of Lynching and Spectacle: Witne...

Racism Review

Without an explicit challenge to racism, white feminism is easily grafted onto white supremacy and useful for arguing for equality for white women, and possibly for white gays and lesbians, within a white supremacist context.”.

Jan 22 2017 | Read Full Review of Lynching and Spectacle: Witne...
×