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The Burning House

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About the Author

Anders Walker teaches law and history at Saint Louis University and is the author of The Ghost of Jim Crow: How Southern Moderates Used Brown v. Board of Education to Stall Civil Rights.


"A law professor takes on the history of racial integration in the United States by focusing on well-known intellectuals who questioned whether integration was wise or desirable for African-Americans. The intellectuals are primarily writers, black and white: James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Richard Wright, William Faulkner, Harper Lee, Flannery O'Connor, Robert Penn Warren, and Eudora Welty. . . . Walker skillfully presents his interpretations of his subjects' writing."--Kirkus Reviews "[A] fascinating intellectual history of integration debates."--Elias Rodriques, Bookforum "Provocative. . . . A valuable contribution to our understanding of diversity, identity, and jurisprudence."--Nathanael Blake, The Federalist "Walker has opened up a fresh way of thinking about the intellectual history of the South during the civil-rights movement, and he also asks some tough questions about how we should remember its legacy."--Robert Greene, The Nation "An absolutely first-rate and blazingly original work of scholarship. Walker's sagacious and path-breaking analysis will be lauded and embraced by scholars in multiple disciplines."--David J. Garrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Bearing the Cross and Rising Star "Highly original and made vivid by close readings of both well-known and little-known texts, The Burning House traces the emergence of 'Southern pluralist views' that 'respected diversity and also tolerated inequality.'"-- Werner Sollors, Harvard University "Beautifully written and well researched, The Burning House examines Jim Crow through the lenses of culture, community and intellectual history and makes an invaluable contribution to studies of race and American history."--Tomiko Brown-Nagin, author of the Bancroft prize-winning Courage to Dissent "Anders Walker provocatively explores how and why a star-crossed array of white and black southern writers seriously probed and delivered a critique of racial integration. He goes where most literary historians have not gone: to the ironic, complex zone of imagination on both sides of the color line among many of America's greatest writers. This work is a must read for those interested in questions around race, modernism, and pluralism."--David W. Blight, Yale University and author of Frederick Douglass: American Prophet. "In this bold book that is sure to stir controversy, Anders Walker contends ideas about racial diversity that debuted in the literary world ultimately informed the legal world. Walker's arresting intellectual history also speaks unmistakably to our incendiary present."--Justin Driver, University of Chicago Law School

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