George Lovell, UW associate professor of political science, is the author of “This Is Not Civil Rights: Discovering Rights Talk in 1939 America,” published in October by University of Chicago Press. He answered a few questions about his book for UW Today.
What is the basic concept behind “This is Not Civil Rights”?
The book examines more than 1,000 citizen complaint letters regarding rights from the late years of the Great Depression along with replies written by federal government officials. Looking at what people complained about, and how they tried to justify their claims, reveals how popular understandings of rights and the role of government develop over time. (more…)