About the series

The Justice, Power, and Politics series publishes and pursues new works of history that explore questions of social justice, political power, and struggles for justice in the twentieth century—thereby bringing these books into conversation with each other.

In doing so, JPP helps readers to better understand the evolution of the United States in the last century, as well as integrate and broaden the way we think about these issues.

For more information about the series >>

Header photo far right: E.H. Butler Library, Buffalo Courier Express Collection

Now available from JPP


No Mercy Here
Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity
by Sarah Haley

A landmark history of black women’s imprisonment in the South, this book recovers stories of the captivity and punishment of black women to demonstrate how the system of incarceration was crucial to organizing the logics of gender and race, and constructing Jim Crow modernity.

No Mercy Here is the most important contribution to U.S. labor history to appear in the last fifteen years. With theoretical sophistication, breathtaking archival depth, and historical imagination, Sarah Haley tells a compelling story of how the criminal punishment system, through which the state policed and exploited black working-class women, laid the foundation of Jim Crow modernity. But this is also a story of resistance—to captivity, to capital, to the carceral state. Poets, bards, philosophers, saboteurs, these women acted on dreams of revenge, retaliation, and flight; laughed and loved in the face of terror; and built an architecture of opposition that confounded the state.” –Robin D. G. Kelley


Unjust Deeds: The Restrictive Covenant Cases and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement, by Jeffrey D. Gonda
Unjust Deeds
The Restrictive Covenant Cases and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement
by Jeffrey D. Gonda

A groundbreaking study that explores the origins and complex legacies of the dramatic campaign against racially restrictive covenants, culminating in a landmark Supreme Court victory in Shelley v. Kraemer (1948).

“The time is more than ripe for a new look at restrictive covenant litigation, and Unjust Deeds is invaluable in this regard. With top-rate scholarship and original treatment, this is an important new work. It’s definitely among the top books on legal civil rights history from the past decade.”
–Susan Carle, American University Washington College of Law




Chained in Silence
Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South
by Talitha L. LeFlouria

A vivid history of the African American women ensnared in Georgia’s convict leasing system, redefining the social context of black women’s lives and labor in the New South and allowing their stories to be told for the first time. Winner of the 2015 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize, Association of Black Women Historians; Ida B. Wells Tribute Award, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; 2016 Darlene Clark Hine Award, Organization of American Historians; 2016 Philip Taft Labor History Award, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations / Labor and Working-Class History Association; 2016 Malcolm Bell, Jr. and Muriel Barrow Bell Award, Georgia Historical Society; 2015 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians’ Book Prize.

“Every page of Chained in Silence is a revelation. The author connects the hideous conditions that black female convicts endured with the emergence of white business supremacy and the modernization of the South. LeFlouria skillfully illuminates the ties between gender, racism, and labor exploitation in the making of the New South. This book is destined to play an integral role in contemporary debates on mass incarceration and prison reform.”–Paul Ortiz, University of Florida


berger_captive_195_300Captive Nation
Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era
by Dan Berger

A pathbreaking book that offers a bold reconsideration of twentieth century black activism, the prison system, and the origins of mass incarceration. Winner of the 2015 James A. Rawley Prize (OAH).

“Numerous scholars have distilled the grotesque features of the prison experience or described the sheer scale of mass incarceration. Others have chronicled the carceral turn where black freedom struggles of the mid-twentieth century gave way to the War on Drugs of today. But few have given voice to black prisoners as freedom activists and radical organizers in their own right until now. Dan Berger’s Captive Nation shows, by their example, that America’s most enduring paradox is its capacity to generate freedom with violence, to expand democracy and imprison its citizens. No histories of post–Civil Rights America can ignore this indispensable book.”–Khalil Gibran Muhammad

mantler_power_3D_2Power to the Poor
Black-Brown Coalition and the Fight for Economic Justice, 1960-1974
by Gordon Mantler

A major reinterpretation of civil rights and Chicano movement history, demonstrating how Martin Luther King Jr’s unfinished crusade became the era’s most high-profile attempt at multiracial collaboration, shedding light on the interdependent relationship between racial identity and political coalition among African Americans and Mexican Americans.

“Mantler offers an impressive examination of an understudied topic: antipoverty movements. He successfully weaves multiple histories, based on a sometimes staggering array of sources, into a highly readable analysis of social movement organizing.”–Journal of American History

Forthcoming books

Blue Texas: Civil Rights, Labor, and the Making of the Multiracial Democratic Coalition, by Max Krochmal (publication expected 2016)

In Love and Struggle: James and Grace Lee Boggs, Black Power, and the Next American Revolution, by Stephen Ward (publication expected 2016)

Courage Under Fire: African Americans and the FDNY, by David Goldberg (publication expected 2016)

What Difference does Difference Make?: A History of Gay and Lesbian Identity Politics Since Stonewall, by David Palmer (publication expected 2016)

City of Inmates: Conquest and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, by Kelly Hernandez (publication expected 2016)

Race for Profit: Black Housing and the Urban Crisis of the 1970s, by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (publication expected 2017)

What You’ve Got is a Revolution: Black Women’s Movements for Black Power, by Ashley Farmer (publication expected 2017)

Irresistible Revolution: Cuba and American Radicalism, 1968-1992, by Teishan Latner (publication expected 2017)

Return of the Asylum: Deinstitutionalization and the Rise of Prisons, by Anne Parsons (publication expected 2017)

Democracy’s Capital: Local Protest, National Politics, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Washington, D.C., by Lauren Pearlman (publication expected 2017)

A Political Education: Black Politics and Education Reform in Post-Civil Rights Chicago, by Elizabeth Todd-Breland (publication expected 2017)

To Make the Wounded Whole: African American Responses to HIV/AIDS, by Dan Royles (publication expected 2018)

For more information about these and other JPP books, check out the forthcoming books page.