Allyson Hobbs

Associate Professor of American History, Stanford University, and contributing staff writer, The New Yorker.

Hobbs’ first book, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, examines the phenomenon of racial passing in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present. A Chosen Exile won two prizes from the Organization of American Historians: the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for best first book in American history and the Lawrence Levine Prize for best book in American cultural history. Hobbs’ next book, Far From Sanctuary: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights, explores the violence, humiliation, and indignities that African American motorists experienced on the road. Jim Crow laws and local customs put mid-century American pleasures—taking to the road, exploring the country, enjoying the freedom and the autonomy of driving one’s own car—out of the reach of black drivers.

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