White Resistance to Federal Power with Jefferson Cowie

Jefferson Cowie discusses his 2022 book, “Freedom’s Dominion: A Saga of White Resistance to Federal Power.” By examining the local history of Barbour County in Alabama, Professor Cowie develops a thesis of white freedom which dependent upon the oppression of others. Tracing the origins in white intrusion into Creek lands and the Federal response to these intruders, the idea of racialized anti-statism begins to form around sovereignty and “outsider” interference in local affairs. Professor Cowie makes a strong case for this definition of white freedom through the Civil War, the Redemption period, and the rise of Populist politicians like Goldwater and Wallace.

Jefferson Cowie, James G. Stahlman Professor of History, is a social and political historian whose research and teaching focus on how class, race, inequality, and work shape American capitalism, politics, and culture.