Rape in Chicago: Race, Myth, and the Courts. By Dawn Rae Flood (book review)Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (2013)
The deceptively simple title of Dawn Rae Flood’s monograph belies its analytical complexity. Her close reading of appellate court transcripts in mid-twentieth century Chicago demonstrates the intricate interplay between collectively held beliefs about rape and the formal requirements of the criminal justice system, revealing the “ways in which language and the seemingly neutral rules of the court engendered profound power relations.” (p.13) Flood also looks at challenges to the system launched by accusers, defendants, legal officials, civil rights activists, and second-wave feminists, and the significant changes they provoked.The criminal prosecution of rape evolved very slowly, from its common law roots protecting men’s rights to women’s virtue into a means for adjudicating equal claims to justice by the accuser and the accused. This interesting study will interest scholars and students across a broad range of disciplines.
Publication DateSpring 2013
Citation InformationLynne E. Curry. "Rape in Chicago: Race, Myth, and the Courts. By Dawn Rae Flood (book review)" Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society Vol. 106 Iss. 1 (2013) p. 164 - 166
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/lynne_curry/11/