Swift to wrath: Lynching in global historical perspective

William Carrigan, Christopher Waldrep

Research output: Book/ReportBook

4 Scopus citations


Scholarship on lynching has typically been confined to the extralegal execution of African Americans in the American South. The nine essays collected here look at lynching in the context of world history, encouraging a complete rethinking of the history of collective violence. Employing a diverse range of case studies, the volume's contributors work to refute the notion that the various acts of group homicide called "lynching" in American history are unique or exceptional. Some essays consider the practice of lynching in a global context, confounding the popular perception that Americans were alone in their behavior and suggesting a wide range of approaches to studying extralegal collective violence. Others reveal the degree to which the practice of lynching has influenced foreigners' perceptions of the United States and asking questions such as, Why have people adopted the term lynching-or avoided it? How has the meaning of the word been transformed over time in society? What contextual factors explain such transformations? Ultimately, the essays illuminate, opening windows on ordinary people's thinking on such critical issues as the role of law in their society and their attitudes toward their own government.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity of Virginia Press
Number of pages257
ISBN (Electronic)9780813934150
ISBN (Print)9780813934143
StatePublished - May 24 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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