Dynamic Dominion / Edition 2

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The Dynamic Dominion tells the dramatic story of Virginia's political transformation from the Second World War to the Reagan Revolution. The cradle of American democracy — and thus of the democratic movement that is sweeping the globe today — the venerable Old Dominion has emerged again in the second half of the 20th century as a dynamic political pace setter for the nation. In 1945, Virginia was a one-party, one-faction state under the aristocratic rule of conservative Democratic Senator Harry F. Byrd and his famed 'Byrd organization.' From his perch as the uncontested leader of the state that led the south, Virginia's Byrd became a regional symbol, a congressional kingpin, and a national power. With its political system and culture static, Virginia's voice was heard nationally mostly in dissent, as it had been for a century. Within a few decades, emerging two-party competition and an unprecedented party realignment combined to place the rapidly changing commonwealth in the national vanguard. Well before Republican parties throughout the South became competitive, Virginia's Republicans in the 1970s compiled the most impressive winning streak of any state party in the country. They did it by constructing a coalition of rural conservative Democrats and suburban Republicans — the same coalition that Ronald Reagan assembled nationwide in 1980, ushering in the Reagan Revolution. As told in The Dynamic Dominion, the Virginia story contains all the excitement, drama, conflict, and intrigue of a fast-paced thriller. It is a story of triumph and tragedy, celebrities and statesmen, heroes and scoundrels — of shifting party loyalties and makeshift coalitions, hard-fought campaigns and razor-close elections — of ambition and cynicism alongside sacrifice and idealism. Best of all, the tale is true. It is the fascinating story of contemporary democracy flourishing in Virginia . . . the place where it was born.

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Editorial Reviews

Thomas R. Morris
Frank Atkinson's book is a dramatic account of the political events that precipitated the realignment of both political parties in the state. His work is an indispensable starting point for anyone interested in understanding the modern Virginia political scene.
Dr. Larry J. Sabato
This book is packed with insights, and it's essential reading for every informed Virginian. The Dynamic Dominion is an eminently fair, comprehensive account of the tumultuous events that have shaped this state in the modern era, told by a premier interpreter of our contemporary political history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742552098
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2006
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 504
  • Sales rank: 1,431,633
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank B. Atkinson is the chairman of McGuireWoods Consulting LLC and a partner in McGuireWoods LLP in Richmond, Virginia. In 1994-1996, he served in the cabinet of Governor George Allen as counselor and director of policy. During the Reagan administration, he served as special counsel and deputy chief of staff to the U.S. Attorney General and before that was special assistant in the Justice Department.

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Table of Contents

Preface : a heritage of leadership
I The Byrd organization's loosening grip, 1945-1953
1 Harry Byrd's Virginia 3
2 Mountain-Valley Republicanism 11
3 Tuck, "Trumanism," and the 1948 miscue 21
4 1949 : Thunder on the left 33
5 The Eisenhower invasion 45
6 "Golden silence" and presidential Republicanism 53
7 The Ted Dalton phenomenon 69
II Hostage to massive resistance, 1954-1963
8 Byrd, Brown, and the politics of race 83
9 1957 : the massive resistance election 99
10 Almond joyless : the collapse and its aftermath 113
11 Governor Harrison and the "happy bridge" 129
III A new Democratic coalition emerges, 1964-1967
12 Suddenly, an expanded electorate 145
13 Identity crisis : the Goldwater GOP battles Byrd 151
14 Aboard the Lady Byrd special 159
15 The Godwin revolution 169
16 1966 : end of an era 185
IV Triumph and turmoil : the Holton GOP, 1968-1971
17 Prologue : Republican resolve, Democratic division 199
18 "It's time for a change" 213
19 Linwood Holton and the burden of being governor first 229
20 1970 : opportunity lost 239
21 The Reynolds tragedy 253
V Obenshain, Godwin, and the rapid realignment, 1972-1975
22 The realignment that might have been 267
23 1972 : Obenshain takes charge 279
24 Mills Godwin : reluctant Republican 295
25 Armageddon, Virginia-style 307
26 Watergate : realignment reassessed 319
VI The Conservative Coalition and Republican ascendancy, 1976-1980
27 The enigmatic "coalition" 331
28 The state-of-the-art GOP 343
29 Henry Howell strikes again 355
30 1977 : the Dalton dream fulfilled 375
31 The "great indoor primary" of 1978 393
32 The Obenshain tragedy 415
33 The country catches up 435
Epilogue : into the Reagan era 449
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