History Professor Dr. David Goldberg Publishes Book

Welcome to Dr. David E. Goldberg, Visiting Assistant Professor of History (Ph.D West Virginia 2013), whose new book The Retreats of Reconstruction: Race, Leisure, and the Politics of Segregation at the New Jersey Shore, 1865-1920 (2016) examines the political meanings of consumption and racial segregation with special emphasis on leisure spaces and the struggle for Americans’ civil rights.

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Drawing on press accounts, business records, and promotional materials, he argues that the consumer ideologies that emerged in battles over segregation proved as powerful in limiting the scope of civil rights activism as free labor ideology and white supremacy. While African Americans used the claim of consumer rights and public health to contest Jim Crow, defend black-owned leisure districts, and push for environmental protections, white northerners blocked claims to integrated leisure by adopting a producer-driven vision of mass consumption that separated the right to consume from the right to integration. Published by Fordham University Press, this book demonstrates that by the 1920s these policies helped popularize the political culture of “separate but equal” and spurred the region’s retreat from early civil rights victories. Dr. Goldberg teaches U.S. History classes as well as Core 201: Race and Empire in the Modern World.