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Men of MobtownPolicing Baltimore in the Age of Slavery and Emancipation$
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Adam Malka

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469636290

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469636290.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Men of Mobtown

Adam Malka

University of North Carolina Press

The opening chapter introduces the broader story that the next seven chapters will tell, and makes clear that this is a study of policing which culminates in the mass black incarceration of late 1860s Baltimore. The book has two primary arguments: first, that Baltimore’s police institutions were from the onset shaped by a liberal order that assumed criminality as the essence of black freedom; and second, that the criminalization of black freedom in turn encouraged white police power. The introduction also defines three concepts central to these arguments – police, property, and manhood – while situating the book in existing historiography, especially that of 19th century criminal justice and American liberalism. Finally, it suggests that this history of the nineteenth-century is an antecedent to today’s stories of racialized police brutality and mass black incarceration.

Keywords:   Policing, Mass incarceration, Baltimore, Criminality, Black freedom, Police, Property, Manhood, Liberalism, Police brutality

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