James J. Kilpatrick: Salesman for Segregation

Overview

James J. Kilpatrick was a nationally known television personality, journalist, and columnist whose conservative voice rang out loudly and widely through the twentieth century. As editor of the Richmond News Leader, writer for the National Review, debater in the "Point/Counterpoint" portion of CBS's 60 Minutes, and supporter of conservative political candidates like Barry Goldwater, Kilpatrick had many platforms for his race-based brand of southern conservatism. In James J. Kilpatrick: Salesman for Segregation, ...

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James J. Kilpatrick: Salesman for Segregation

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Overview

James J. Kilpatrick was a nationally known television personality, journalist, and columnist whose conservative voice rang out loudly and widely through the twentieth century. As editor of the Richmond News Leader, writer for the National Review, debater in the "Point/Counterpoint" portion of CBS's 60 Minutes, and supporter of conservative political candidates like Barry Goldwater, Kilpatrick had many platforms for his race-based brand of southern conservatism. In James J. Kilpatrick: Salesman for Segregation, William Hustwit delivers a comprehensive study of Kilpatrick's importance to the civil rights era and explores how his protracted resistance to both desegregation and egalitarianism culminated in an enduring form of conservatism that revealed a nation's unease with racial change.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A visiting assistant professor of history at the University of Mississippi traces the intellectual journey of James J. Kilpatrick from regional southern journalist to one of the most prominent conservative commentators of the latter half of the 20th century. Kilpatrick focused his early career on creating supposedly acceptable public arguments against desegregation by “elevat the level of debate beyond race” and into the realm of constitutional theory—as a harbinger of FOX News and the conservative talk radio cadre, he is most interesting as an embodiment of how desperately the south fought integration. Hustwit’s analysis reveals how many of their tactics—e.g., asserting that “real affirmative action meant letting blacks help themselves”—have become standards of conservative rhetoric, and it is sobering to discover how readily the mass media and society at large accepted Kilpatrick’s overt racism, even as late as 1963. (After Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, Kilpatrick wrote a solicited article for the Saturday Evening Post entitled “The Hell He Is Equal.” To the magazine’s credit they decided in the wake of the Birmingham church bombings not to publish it.) Hustwit’s history will likely find a limited scholarly audience, but it represents an important aspect of the Civil Rights movement. 9 illus. (May)
From the Publisher
"Offers a detailed analysis of how Kilpatrick negotiated, renegotiated, reinvented, and repackaged massive resistance thought into a mainstream container that resonated with society's conservative turn in post-civil-rights America."—Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"In this lively and well-researched study, William P. Hustwit places his subject, James J. Kilpatrick, in the vanguard of two movements: the effort to uphold segregation in the South and the rise of conservatism in America."—American Historical Review

"This book would be an important source for scholars studying the civil rights movement, southern newspaper history during the mid-twentieth century, or the origins of the radical conservative wing of the twenty-first-century Republican Party."—Jhistory

"Recommended. Specialized libraries, upper-division undergraduates and above."—Choice

"Offers a new perspective on one of the South's leading segregationists."—Virginia Magazine

"An engrossing new biography. . . . [Hustwit] has done a first-rate job of providing a much-needed biography of one of the South's most important journalists of the 20th century."—Raleigh News & Observer

"Traces the intellectual journey of James J. Kilpatrick from regional southern journalist to one of the most prominent conservative commentators of the latter half of the 20th century . . . . It represents an important aspect of the Civil Rights movement."—Publishers Weekly

From The Critics
"Traces the intellectual journey of James J. Kilpatrick from regional southern journalist to one of the most prominent conservative commentators of the latter half of the 20th century . . . . It represents an important aspect of the Civil Rights movement."—###Publishers Weekly#

"In sparkling and accessible prose, Hustwit provides James Kilpatrick with an intelligent, fair assessment. An important contribution to our understanding of modern conservatism in the South."—William A. Link, University of Florida

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469602134
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2013
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,439,981
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

William P. Hustwit is visiting assistant professor of history at the University of Mississippi.

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