From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism

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A compelling account of the rise of the modern right in America

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Political scientist Lowndes breaks fresh ground in this history of contemporary conservatism, refuting the backlash thesis, which holds that Southern voters turned to the Republican Party after the Democrats embraced a civil rights platform. The author reveals how the backlash was anything but reactionary—it was the result of long-running mobilizing strategies by conservatives who made successful appeals to white voters and divergent elements in Southern politics: "the bourbon politics of the black belt regions... the complex tradition of southern populism; and the political aspirations of the emergent metropolitan bourgeoisie." The book highlights the largely unknown Charles Wallace Collins, who first aligned segregationists and conservatives and provided the philosophical underpinnings for the states' rights movement. Well-researched and readable sections detail the crucial role of the staunchly anti—civil rights National Review and how Southern conservatism was variously interpreted and shaped by its progenitors and champions from George Wallace to Richard Nixon. While Lowndes loses focus in an irrelevant profile of radio commentator and Klan member Asa Carter, his book is a valuable contribution to the study of contemporary conservatism. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Anne Norton
"This book brilliantly describes the ideology of American conservatism. A richly detailed analysis that helps illuminate the development, rise, and the discursive peculiarities of this political movement."—Anne Norton, author of Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire
Ira Katznelson
"Evocative and analytical, this historical portrait shows how racial change in the South opened the door to conservative mobilization. Its powerful account of how a cross-regional alliance of white supremacists and business-oriented anti-New Dealers fundamentally reoriented American politics advances our understanding not just of pathways to the present, but of prospects for the future."—Ira Katznelson, author of When Affirmative Action Was White
Adolph Reed Jr.
"In reconstructing the intellectual, ideological, cultural, and institutional histories of the New Right's genesis and development, From the New Deal to the New Right challenges many conventional views about the movement's origins and content. This is an important contribution to our understanding of the southern, and racialist, roots of modern conservatism and with its rich, interdisciplinary focus, provides a very useful model of what the systematic study of politics can be."—Adolph Reed Jr., University of Pennsylvania
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300151237
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 395,195
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph E. Lowndes is assistant professor of political science, University of Oregon. He lives in Eugene.

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Table of Contents

1 Beyond the Backlash Thesis 1

2 "White Supremacy Is a Political Doctrine": Charles Wallace Collins and the Dixiecrat Revolt of 1948 11

3 "Goldwater Was the Horsepower": National Review and the New Southern GOP 45

4 "You Are Southerners Too": The National Campaigns of George Wallace 77

5 "The South, the West, and Suburbia": Richard Nixon's New Majority 106

6 "Guv'mints Lie": Asa Carter, Josey Wales, and the Southernization of Conservatism After Watergate 140

7 Between Political Order and Change: The Contingent Construction ofthe Modern Right 155

Notes 163

Bibliography 185

Index 199

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