In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution

In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution

by Joseph Crespino
Pub. Date:
Princeton University Press
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In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691140940
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 02/23/2009
Series: Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Tables ix

Abbreviations xiii

Acknowledgments xv


CHAPTER ONE: Practical Segregation 18

CHAPTER TWO: The Limits of Resistance 49

CHAPTER THREE: "The Heartland of Conservative America" 75

CHAPTER FOUR: Racial Troubleshooting 108

CHAPTER FIVE: The Ambivalence of White Christians 144

CHAPTER SIX: The Irony of School Desegregation 173

CHAPTER SEVEN: Southern Strategies in Mississippi 205

CHAPTER EIGHT: Mississippi Kulturkampf 237


Notes 279

Index 343

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