Mary Dudziak's Cold War Civil Rights Essay

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Mary Dudziak's Cold War Civil Rights is an impressive take on the American race problem of 1950s and 1960s. Legal segregation is viewed in the context of its impact of the Cold War. This Professor of both Law and History has decided that it is pertinent to look at a string of events that happened solely in the United States, and place them within the histories and actions of the rest of the world. Her hypothesis is that much of the Civil Rights legislation passed in the 20th century was a direct result of America's desire to implement democracy as a way of life worldwide. This text is a sort of tale of modern racism, focusing on America, written as a narrative of the relationship between democracy and communism. Historians often …show more content…
Dudziak shows, as early as the Introduction, an example of how the United States immobilized the campaign for democracy with its segregation as Japan used and explained American racism to its people to prove that America would never treat the Japanese as equals, though her never-ending use of concrete examples if what makes the book so compelling.

She chose July 25, 1946 as her start date in this discussion of empire and government, on the occasion that George Dorsey was killed alongside his three companions in Georgia in the name of white supremacy. Their bodies were shot so many times that their faces were practically unidentifiable, allowing a reporter to write that "nothing in the undertaker's art could put back the[ir] faces."(19) Dudziak takes most of Chapter One to frame the grim situation in America, describing the NAACP and coupling it with the presidency of Harry Truman. The reader is reminded that it was seen as un-American to try to change society at this time, possibly allowing for a reason that kept Truman from passing any groundbreaking civil rights legislation.

The United States, as leader of the free world, had been exposed and opened to condemnation as it was discovered that her practices and principles were not the same. Everywhere from Fiji to Shanghai to Bombay to Manila to London