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Polio: An American Story

by David M. Oshinsky

From the book: Oshinsky reveals that polio was never the raging epidemic portrayed by the media, but in truth a relatively uncommon disease. But the specter of polio, like the specter of the atomic bomb, soon became a cloud of terror over daily life. The Salk vaccine trials were the largest public-health experiment in American history, involving more than a million school children. Both a gripping scientific suspense story and a provocative social and cultural history, Polio opens a fresh window onto postwar America.

Worse Than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice

by David M. Oshinsky

The brutal conditions and inhuman treatment of African-Americans in Southern prisons has been immortalized in blues songs and in such movies as "Cool Hand Luke". Now, drawing on police and prison records and oral histories, David M. Oshinsky presents an account of Mississippi's notorious Parchman Farm; what it tells us about our past is well worth remembering in a nation deeply divided by race.

“Worse Than Slavery”: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice

by David M. Oshinsky

"Worse Than Slavery" is an epic history of race and punishment in the deepest South from emancipation to the civil rights era - and beyond. Southern prisons have been immortalized in convict work songs, in the blues, and in movies such as Cool Hand Luke and The Defiant Ones. Mississippi's Parchman Penitentiary was the grandfather of them all, an immense, isolated plantation with shotguns, whips, and bloodhounds, where inmates worked the cotton fields in striped clothing from dawn to dusk. William Faulkner described Parchman as "destination doom." Its convicts included bluesmen like "Son" House and "Bukka" White, who featured the prison in the legendary "Midnight Special" and "Parchman Farm Blues.". Noted historian David M. Oshinsky draws on prison records, pardon files, folklore, oral history, and the blues to offer an unforgettable portrait of Parchman and Jim Crow justice - from the horrors of convict leasing in the late nineteenth century to the struggle for black equality in the 1960s, when Parchman was used to break the spirit of civil rights workers who journeyed south on the Freedom Rides. In Mississippi, the criminal justice system often proved that there could be something worse than slavery. The "old" Parchman is gone, a casualty of federal court orders in the 1970s. What it tells us about our past is well worth remembering in a nation deeply divided by race.

Showing 1 through 3 of 3 results

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