Learn more about extralegal activity through written analysis and interpretation. Although exploring large trends over space and time provides a useful lens through which to understand the history of American extralegal activity, it is also critical to examine specific events and themes, grounded in local, regional, and national contexts. These stories help illuminate how national patterns may have manifested at the local level, and can provide useful insight into how violence was understood, interpreted, and practiced. Perhaps most importantly, these stories preserve the human element in violence. People are at the heart of these stories, as sources of unrest, targets of violence, and recorders of history. Reflecting on their humanity, and at times apparent lack of humanity, is important to analyzing this history.

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