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The Invisible Line A Secret History of Race in America



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Penguin Books
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What version or edition is this?
This is the Reprint edition with a publication date of 1/31/2012.
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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.


One of the nation's most accomplished historians unravels the stories of three extraordinary families from different eras in American history to represent the complexity of race in America, and to force readers to rethink assumptions about race, racism, and civil rights.

Author Biography

Daniel J. Sharfstein is an associate professor of law at Vanderbilt University. Sharfstein graduated from Yale Law School and from Harvard College, summa cum laude in history and literature and Afro-American Studies. He has been awarded fellowships in legal history from Harvard, New York University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Sharfstein has written for the Yale Law Journal, The New York Times, The Economist, and The Washington Post.

Table of Contents

Author's Notep. xi
Family Treesp. xiv
Introduction: The House Behind the Cedarsp. 1
GIBSON: Mars Bluff, South Carolina, 1768p. 13
WALL: Rockingham, North Carolina, 1838p. 27
SPENCER: Clay County, Kentucky, 1848p. 39
GIBSON: New Haven, Connecticut, 1850-55p. 53
SPENCER: Jordan Gap, Johnson County, Kentucky, 1855p. 73
WALL: Oberlin, Ohio, September 1858p. 85
CIVIL WAR: Wall, Gibson, and Spencer, 1859-63p. 103
CIVIL WAR: Wall and Gibson, 1863-66p. 119
GIBSON; Mississippi, New Orleans, and New York, 1866-68p. 135
WALL: Washington, D.C. June 14, 1871p. 151
SPENCER: Jordan Gap, Johnson County, Kentucky, 1870sp. 169
GIBSON: Washington, D.C., 1878p. 181
WALL: Washington, D.C, January 21, 1880p. 197
GIBSON: Washington, D.C, New Orleans, and Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1888-92p. 215
WALL: Washington, D.C, 1890-91p. 229
SPENCER: Jordan Gap, Johnson County, Kentucky, ca. 1900p. 241
WALL: Washington, D.C, 1909p. 253
SPENCER: Home Creek, Buchanan County, Virginia, 1912p. 273
GIBSON: Paris and Chicago, 1931-33p. 293
WALL: Freeport, Long Island, 1946p. 307
Epiloguep. 321
Acknowledgmentsp. 331
Notesp. 337
Indexp. 385
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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