Log In | Account Info
Cart | Checkout
Dividing Lines, Dividing Lines, 081731170X, 0-8173-1170-X, 978-0-8173-1170-4, 9780817311704, , , Dividing Lines, 0817352996, 0-8173-5299-6, 978-0-8173-5299-8, 9780817352998, , , Dividing Lines, 0817380981, 0-8173-8098-1, 978-0-8173-8098-4, 9780817380984,

Dividing Lines
Municipal Politics and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma
J. Mills Thornton

Trade Cloth
2002. 752 pp.
Price:  $79.95 s
Quality Paper
2006. 752 pp.
Price:  $39.95 s
E Book
2007. 752 pp.
Price:  $39.95 d

With this bold offering from two decades of research, J. Mills Thornton III presents the story of the civil rights movement from the perspective of community-municipal history at the grassroots level. Thornton demonstrates that the movement had powerful local sources in its three birth cities—Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma. There, the arcane mechanisms of state and city governance and the missteps of municipal politicians and civic leaders—independent of emerging national trends in racial mores—led to the great swell of energy for change that became the civil rights movement.

J. Mills Thornton III is Professor of History at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and author of Politics and Power in a Slave Society: Alabama 1800-1860.


"Thornton's opus is the most important book to be written on the civil rights movement in a decade. . . . It is impossible to truly understand the movement without reading, absorbing, and analyzing this first-rate study of three Alabama cities in turmoil."
—Douglas Brinkley, Director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies and Professor of History at the University of New Orleans

"Dividing Lines will quickly come to be regarded as the most original and interpretively significant work of civil rights movement historiography to have been published within the past 15 or 20 years, or perhaps simply ever."
—David J. Garrow, author of Bearing the Cross

2003 Liberty Legacy Foundation Award, sponsored by Organization of American Historians
2003 James F. Sulzby Book Award, sponsored by Alabama Historical Association
2002 Choice Outstanding Academic Book, sponsored by Choice Magazine
2001 The Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize, sponsored by University of Alabama Press

Also of Interest

From That Terrible Field
by James M. Williams
Edited by John Kent Folmar

House by the Side of the Road
Richie Jean Sherrod Jackson

Klan Unmasked
Stetson Kennedy

Story of Coal and Iron in Alabama
Ethel Armes