Pursuit of Unity: A Political History of the American South / Edition 1

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Overview

In Pursuit of Unity, Michael Perman presents a comprehensive analysis of the South's political history. In the 1800s, the region endured almost continuous political crisis--nullification, secession, Reconstruction, the Populist revolt, and disfranchisement. For most of the twentieth century, the region was dominated by a one-party system, the "Solid South," that ensured both political unity internally and political influence in Washington. But in both centuries, the South suffered from the noncompetitive, one-party politics that differentiated it from the rest of the country. Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, Perman argues, the South's political distinctiveness has come to an end, as has its pursuit of unity.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A striking achievement that will be of interest to all students of southern history."--American Nineteenth Century History

"A welcome addition to the literature. . . .Perman should be applauded for undertaking such an ambitious synthesis. Those looking to refresh their knowledge of the southern political past, or those who lack such knowledge in the first place, will do well to consult this book." --The Journal of Southern History

"Perman's new political history of the South is the first of its kind….No other volume synthesizes the region's political history from the earliest years of the new nation ot the present. With its fine balance of generalization and detail and its clear prose, the book seems certain to attract both scholarly and general readers." --Georgia Historical Quarterly

"Well written and accessible."--Southwestern Historical Quarterly

"An important new study."--Journal of American History

"Recommended."--Choice

"Perman has filled a pressing need for a modern, comprehensive survey of southern political history. . . . Perman has skillfully and cogently illuminated its past, tying the regional experience together with an effective, coherent theme. Students and fans

"A clear, sound synthesis of a crucial subject. . . . Readers at every level should applaud his invaluable contribution."--Civil War Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807833247
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Perman is research professor in the humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has written or edited seven books in American history, including Struggle for Mastery: Disfranchisement in the South, 1888-1908 and Emancipation and Reconstruction. He has also held a Guggenheim Fellowship and won three book prizes.
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Table of Contents

Pt. I One-Party Dominance, 1800-1861

1 A One-Party South: Republican Ascendancy 11

2 A Two-Party South : Whigs and Democrats 38

3 A One-Party South Again: Democratic Ascendancy 60

Pt. II No-Party Politics, 1861-1865

4 Politics without Parties: The Confederacy 97

5 Party Politics under Assault: Reconstruction 117

6 Achieving Democratic Hegemony: The 1880s 142

7 Eliminating the Opposition: The 1890s 157

Pt. IV One-Party System, 1901-1965

8 Democrats and Demagogues in the Solid South 185

9 Reform and Reaction in the Solid South 204

10 The New Deal Challenge to the Solid South 225

11 The Liberal Challenge in the 1940s 248

12 The Solid South under Attack: White Defiance 263

13 The Solid South under Attack: Black Gains 288

Pt. V From One Party to Two, 1965-1994

14 Old Responses and New Direction, 1965-1980 307

15 The Emergence of a Two-Party South since 1980 334

Notes 359

Bibliography 369

Index 379

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