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Strange Career offers a clear and illuminating analysis of the history of Jim Crow laws and American race relations. This book presented evidence that segregation in the South dated only to the 1880s. It's publication in 1955, a year after the Supreme Court ordered schools be desegregated,helped counter arguments that the ruling would destoy a centuries-old way of life. The commemorative edition includes a special afterword by William S. McFeely, former Woodward student and winner of both the 1982 Pulitzer Prize and 1992 Lincoln Prize. As William McFeely describes in the newafterword, 'the slim volume's social consequence far outstripped its importance to academia. The book became part of a revolution...The Civil Rights Movement had changed Woodward's South and his slim, quietly insistent book...had contributed to that change.'
The late C. Vann Woodward was the Sterling Professor of History at Yale until his death in 1999. Among his books are Mary Chestnut's Civil War, The Origins of the New South, Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel, and The Burden of Southern History. He was also General Editor of The Oxford History of the United States series. William S. McFeely won the Lincoln Prize in 1992 for Frederick Douglass and the Pulitzer Prize in 1982 for Grant: A Biography. He is Abraham Baldwin Professor of the Humanities Emeritus at the University of Georgia and lives in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.