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Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9780199768448
Author(s): Risa Goluboff
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Dimensions: 160 x 239 x 38 (w x l x h)
Pages: 480

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Description:
Prior to the 1950s, it was remarkably easy for police to arrest people for a wide variety of activities performed in the streets. Throughout the country, vagrancy laws were far-reaching and pervasive. Yet by the end of the 1960s, streets across America hosted both massive political protests and a cultural revolution that reshaped not only the nation's public spaces, but more broadly its public life. For the era or against it, virtually all agreed that America after the 1960s was starkly different than before it. What happened? In Vagrant Nation, Risa Goluboff provides a truly groundbreaking explanation of the transformation. Focusing on Court decisions that loosened vagrancy laws and opened up the streets to Americans in all their variety, she shows how legal change helped fuel highly public social movements advocating everything from civil rights to peace to gay rights to cultural revolution. Indeed, increased access to the streets increased their public presence and thereby social power. The book is a brilliant example of how a seemingly small event -alteratations to the relatively minor crime of vagrancy-can contribute to a social revolution.
Not only that, Goluboff powerfully demonstrates how the courts can advance social change-make history, so to speak. The vagrancy laws were that were on the books virtually everywhere in the 1950s served as a catchall device for police Please click here to ask a question
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