The Silent Majority

Author: Matthew D. Lassiter
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 140084942X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Suburban sprawl transformed the political culture of the American South as much as the civil rights movement did during the second half of the twentieth century. The Silent Majority provides the first regionwide account of the suburbanization of the South from the perspective of corporate leaders, political activists, and especially of the ordinary families who lived in booming Sunbelt metropolises such as Atlanta, Charlotte, and Richmond. Matthew Lassiter examines crucial battles over racial integration, court-ordered busing, and housing segregation to explain how the South moved from the era of Jim Crow fully into the mainstream of national currents. During the 1960s and 1970s, the grassroots mobilization of the suburban homeowners and school parents who embraced Richard Nixon's label of the Silent Majority reshaped southern and national politics and helped to set in motion the center-right shift that has dominated the United States ever since. The Silent Majority traces the emergence of a "color-blind" ideology in the white middle-class suburbs that defended residential segregation and neighborhood schools as the natural outcomes of market forces and individual meritocracy rather than the unconstitutional products of discriminatory public policies. Connecting local and national stories, and reintegrating southern and American history, The Silent Majority is critical reading for those interested in urban and suburban studies, political and social history, the civil rights movement, public policy, and the intersection of race and class in modern America.

Mothers of Conservatism

Author: Michelle M. Nickerson
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691121842
Format: PDF, ePub
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Mothers of Conservatism tells the story of 1950s Southern Californian housewives who shaped the grassroots right in the two decades following World War II. Michelle Nickerson describes how red-hunting homemakers mobilized activist networks, institutions, and political consciousness in local education battles, and she introduces a generation of women who developed political styles and practices around their domestic routines. From the conservative movement’s origins in the early fifties through the presidential election of 1964, Nickerson documents how women shaped conservatism from the bottom up, out of the fabric of their daily lives and into the agenda of the Republican Party. A unique history of the American conservative movement, Mothers of Conservatism shows how housewives got out of the house and discovered their political capital.

The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism

Author: Matthew D. Lassiter
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195384741
Format: PDF
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More than one-third of the population of the United States now lives in the South, a region where politics, race relations, and the economy have changed dramatically since World War II. Yet historians and journalists continue to disagree over whether the modern South is dominating, deviating from, or converging with the rest of the nation. Has the time come to declare the end of southern history? And how do the stories of American history change if the South is no longer seen as a region apart--as the conservative counterpoint to a liberal national ideal? The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism challenges the idea of southern distinctiveness in order to offer a new way of thinking about modern American history. For too long, the belief in an exceptional South has encouraged distortions and generalizations about the nation's otherwise liberal traditions, especially by compartmentalizing themes of racism, segregation, and political conservatism in one section of the country. This volume dismantles popular binaries--of de facto versus de jure segregation, red state conservatism versus blue state liberalism, the "South" versus the "North"--to rewrite the history of region and nation alike. Matthew Lassiter and Joseph Crespino present thirteen essays--framed by their provocative introduction--that reinterpret major topics such as the civil rights movement in the South and the North, the relationship between conservative backlash and liberal reform throughout the country, the rise of the Religious Right as a national phenomenon, the emergence of the metropolitan Sunbelt, and increasing suburban diversity in a multiracial New South. By writing American history across regional borders, this volume spends as much time outside as inside the traditional boundaries of the South, moving from Mississippi to New York City, from Southern California to South Carolina, from Mexico to Atlanta, from Hollywood to the Newport Folk Festival, and from the Pentagon to the Attica prison rebellion.

Strom Thurmond s America

Author: Joseph Crespino
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 1429945486
Format: PDF, Mobi
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"Do not forget that ‘skill and integrity' are the keys to success." This was the last piece of advice on a list Will Thurmond gave his son Strom in 1923. The younger Thurmond would keep the words in mind throughout his long and colorful career as one of the South's last race-baiting demagogues and as a national power broker who, along with Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, was a major figure in modern conservative politics. But as the historian Joseph Crespino demonstrates in Strom Thurmond's America, the late South Carolina senator followed only part of his father's counsel. Political skill was the key to Thurmond's many successes; a consummate opportunist, he had less use for integrity. He was a thoroughgoing racist—he is best remembered today for his twenty-four-hour filibuster in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1957—but he fathered an illegitimate black daughter whose existence he did not publicly acknowledge during his lifetime. A onetime Democrat and labor supporter, he switched parties in 1964 and helped to dismantle New Deal protections for working Americans. If Thurmond was a great hypocrite, though, he was also an innovator who saw the future of conservative politics before just about anyone else. As early as the 1950s, he began to forge alliances with Christian Right activists, and he eagerly took up the causes of big business, military spending, and anticommunism. Crespino's adroit, lucid portrait reveals that Thurmond was, in fact, both a segregationist and a Sunbelt conservative. The implications of this insight are vast. Thurmond was not a curiosity from a bygone era, but rather one of the first conservative Republicans we would recognize as such today. Strom Thurmond's America is about how he made his brand of politics central to American life.

The Emerging Republican Majority

Author: Kevin P. Phillips
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400852293
Format: PDF, Docs
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One of the most important and controversial books in modern American politics, The Emerging Republican Majority (1969) explained how Richard Nixon won the White House in 1968—and why the Republicans would go on to dominate presidential politics for the next quarter century. Rightly or wrongly, the book has widely been seen as a blueprint for how Republicans, using the so-called Southern Strategy, could build a durable winning coalition in presidential elections. Certainly, Nixon's election marked the end of a "New Deal Democratic hegemony" and the beginning of a conservative realignment encompassing historically Democratic voters from the South and the Florida-to-California "Sun Belt," in the book’s enduring coinage. In accounting for that shift, Kevin Phillips showed how two decades and more of social and political changes had created enormous opportunities for a resurgent conservative Republican Party. For this new edition, Phillips has written a preface describing his view of the book, its reception, and how its analysis was borne out in subsequent elections. A work whose legacy and influence are still fiercely debated, The Emerging Republican Majority is essential reading for anyone interested in American politics or history.

Suburban Warriors

Author: Lisa McGirr
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691096117
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A study of American conservatism revisits the early and mid-1960s to trace the roots of the conservative revival that eventually changed the American political landscape.

Don t Blame Us

Author: Lily Geismer
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 069117623X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Don't Blame Us traces the reorientation of modern liberalism and the Democratic Party away from their roots in labor union halls of northern cities to white-collar professionals in postindustrial high-tech suburbs, and casts new light on the importance of suburban liberalism in modern American political culture. Focusing on the suburbs along the high-tech corridor of Route 128 around Boston, Lily Geismer challenges conventional scholarly assessments of Massachusetts exceptionalism, the decline of liberalism, and suburban politics in the wake of the rise of the New Right and the Reagan Revolution in the 1970s and 1980s. Although only a small portion of the population, knowledge professionals in Massachusetts and elsewhere have come to wield tremendous political leverage and power. By probing the possibilities and limitations of these suburban liberals, this rich and nuanced account shows that—far from being an exception to national trends—the suburbs of Massachusetts offer a model for understanding national political realignment and suburban politics in the second half of the twentieth century.

In Search of Another Country

Author: Joseph Crespino
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691122090
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In the 1960s, Mississippi was the heart of white southern resistance to the civil-rights movement. To many, it was a backward-looking society of racist authoritarianism and violence that was sorely out of step with modern liberal America. White Mississippians, however, had a different vision of themselves and their country, one so persuasive that by 1980 they had become important players in Ronald Reagan's newly ascendant Republican Party. In this ambitious reassessment of racial politics in the deep South, Joseph Crespino reveals how Mississippi leaders strategically accommodated themselves to the demands of civil-rights activists and the federal government seeking to end Jim Crow, and in so doing contributed to a vibrant conservative countermovement. Crespino explains how white Mississippians linked their fight to preserve Jim Crow with other conservative causes--with evangelical Christians worried about liberalism infecting their churches, with cold warriors concerned about the Communist threat, and with parents worried about where and with whom their children were schooled. Crespino reveals important divisions among Mississippi whites, offering the most nuanced portrayal yet of how conservative southerners bridged the gap between the politics of Jim Crow and that of the modern Republican South. This book lends new insight into how white Mississippians gave rise to a broad, popular reaction against modern liberalism that recast American politics in the closing decades of the twentieth century.

Divided America

Author: Earl Black
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416539050
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Divided America tells the biggest story in American politics today. It's the story behind the emergence of a ferocious power struggle between conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats that is tearing the country's politics apart. Drawing on extensive polling data and close analyses of presidential, senatorial, and congressional elections over the past fifty years, two eminent political scientists show, for the first time, how partisan warfare has reduced both major parties to minority status and locked them into fierce power struggles in each election cycle, thereby making America less stable and more difficult to govern. Because the two major parties are now evenly balanced in the national electorate, control of the White House and Congress can shift dramatically with each election. Neither Republicans nor Democrats operate with any "lock" on the presidency, House of Representatives, or Senate, as demonstrated by the 2006 congressional elections. Earl Black and Merle Black examine the party battles as they've played themselves out in the nation's five principal geographic areas. Each party has developed two important regional strongholds, as exemplified in the 2004 elections, when Republicans won all the electoral votes and sizable majorities of House and Senate seats in the South and Mountain/Plains states while the Democrats won almost all the electoral votes and large majorities in the Northeast and the Pacific Rim states. The Midwest is the perennial swing region. The authors describe the enormous changes that have occurred in the electorates of each region over the past fifty years -- with emphasis on how the size and partisan affiliations of key groups have changed -- and show how these transformations have generated today's unstable two-party battles. Although the relentlessly competitive nature of modern American politics is generally appreciated, the regional causes underlying this new state of affairs are not well understood. Because neither Democrats nor Republicans can produce national majorities simply by sweeping their regional strongholds, they are locked in a fierce power struggle in each election. Divided America tells the story of these remarkable developments in clear, vigorous prose and provides a pragmatic understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each party. For the foreseeable future, each party will be within striking distance of winning -- or losing -- political power in every national institution. Understanding the party battles in America's regions is vital to understanding how today's losers can become tomorrow's winners

Debating the American Conservative Movement

Author: Donald T. Critchlow
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 0742548236
Format: PDF, ePub
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Debating the American Conservative Movement chronicles one of the most dramatic stories of modern American political history. The authors describe how a small band of conservatives in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War launched a revolution that shifted American politics to the right, challenged the New Deal order, transformed the Republican party into a voice of conservatism, and set the terms of debate in American politics as the country entered the new millennium. Historians Donald T. Critchlow and Nancy MacLean frame two opposing perspectives of how the history of conservatism in modern America can be understood, but readers are encouraged to reach their own conclusions through reading engaging primary documents.