Black Violence: Political Impact of the 1960's Riots

Black Violence: Political Impact of the 1960's Riots

James W. Button
Copyright Date: 1978
Pages: 264
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    Black Violence: Political Impact of the 1960's Riots
    Book Description:

    While many studies of domestic collective violence, especially of the black riots of the 1960s, emphasize the causes of violence, James Button's is a major investigation of theconsequencesof violence. He not only analyzes how and to what extent the national government responded to the black urban riots, but he also moves toward a theoretical definition of the role of collective violence in a democratic society. In so doing, the author clarifies the utility or disutility of collective violence as a minority group strategy for effecting political change.

    Using a variety of sources and research techniques, Professor Button evaluates the effects of ghetto violence on public policy from a perspective that ranges from the earliest riots in 1963 to the later riots and their long-term impact through 1972. His use of rigorous empirical evidence to explore policy effects at the federal level fills the gap often left by more impressionistic research limited to case studies at a local level.

    The author's data indicate that many federal executive officials interpreted the acts of black urban violence in the 1960s as politically purposeful revolts intended to make demands upon those in power. James Button's work poses a serious challenge to those who argue that collective violence is apolitical, counterproductive, and pathological.

    Originally published in 1978.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6761-5
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vii)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. viii-ix)
  4. List of Diagrams
    (pp. x-x)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xi-xii)
    James Button
  6. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-2)
  7. CHAPTER I The Urban Riots as Collective Violence: What Were the Political Consequences?
    (pp. 3-23)

    Although domestic collective violence* has played a prominent role in American history, few other episodes of urban violence in this country’s history have been so destructive or so dramatic as the black riots of the 1960s. As a result, the causes, precipitating events, and participants of the outbursts have been thoroughly studied over the past several years.³ Yet what is remarkable about this extensive analysis is the almost complete neglect of the politicaleffectsorconsequencesof these pervasive disorders. By concentrating instead on the factors that may have caused the riots, most investigators have implicitly reflected a normative bias...

  8. CHAPTER II OEO: The “Fire-Brigade” Approach to Riots
    (pp. 24-57)

    During the early 1960s, there was a tremendous upsurge of concern in this country about the great amount of poverty in an otherwise affluent society. Harrington’sThe Other America, published in 1963, catalyzed much of this popular concern. Federal officials and intellectuals were influenced to a great degree during this period by the Ford Foundation’s Gray Areas Project and the Mobilization for Youth program, a product of the President’s Committee on Juvenile Delinquency. Both of these programs were based upon a systemic, as opposed to an individualistic, view of the causes of poverty, and both advocated expanded opportunities and increased...

  9. CHAPTER III HUD and HEW: The Case of Moderate Response
    (pp. 58-106)

    In an attempt to forestall the growing urban crisis of the early 1960s, the Department of Housing and Urban Development was established in 1965 to provide, according to President Johnson, “a focal point for thought and innovation and imagination about the problems of our cities.”² As the successor to the earlier independent agency, the Housing and Home Financial Administration, HUD was concerned primarily with public housing, mortgage insurance, urban renewal, community facilities, and related programs.

    Although the major public housing programs grew out of the experience of the Depression, the beneficiaries of such housing by the mid-1960s were quite different...

  10. CHAPTER IV Justice and Defense: From Riot Prevention to Riot Control
    (pp. 107-155)

    The massive cries for “law and order,” especially from the public and many congressmen, paralleled the rapid increase in the number of urban riots through the 1960s. These increasingly pervasive cries put tremendous pressures on the Justice Department (and to a lesser degree, on the Department of Defense) to control and repress black rioters using almost any available means. In order to encourage more repressive federal law enforcement policies, Congress hurriedly passed the Crime Control Act and the antiriot law in 1968. Federal officials in the Justice Department were clearly compelled to reevaluate the tenuous balance between the increased demands...

  11. CHAPTER V Toward a Theory of the Political Impact of Collective Violence
    (pp. 156-179)

    Most Americans (including their leaders) have adhered to the view that collective violence in this country is infrequent, unnecessary, and pathological. This is not surprising since such a perspective lends psychological support to the feeling of (and desire to maintain) political and social stability, slow and peaceful change, and the legitimacy of those in public power. Moreover, the American public has generally adopted the socalled “myth of peaceful progress” to explain events in United States history.² According to this “myth,” most conflict in this country’s past has been resolved peacefully through the political process of bargaining and eventual compromise. With...

  12. Appendix 1 METHODOLOGY
    (pp. 180-191)
    (pp. 192-195)
    (pp. 196-198)
  15. Notes
    (pp. 199-231)
  16. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 232-240)
  17. Index
    (pp. 241-248)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 249-249)