The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South / Edition 1

The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South / Edition 1

by Matthew D. Lassiter
Pub. Date:
Princeton University Press
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The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South / Edition 1

Suburban sprawl transformed the political culture of the American South as much as the civil rights movement did during the second half of the twentieth century. The Silent Majority provides the first regionwide account of the suburbanization of the South from the perspective of corporate leaders, political activists, and especially of the ordinary families who lived in booming Sunbelt metropolises such as Atlanta, Charlotte, and Richmond.

Matthew Lassiter examines crucial battles over racial integration, court-ordered busing, and housing segregation to explain how the South moved from the era of Jim Crow fully into the mainstream of national currents. During the 1960s and 1970s, the grassroots mobilization of the suburban homeowners and school parents who embraced Richard Nixon's label of the Silent Majority reshaped southern and national politics and helped to set in motion the center-right shift that has dominated the United States ever since.

The Silent Majority traces the emergence of a "color-blind" ideology in the white middle-class suburbs that defended residential segregation and neighborhood schools as the natural outcomes of market forces and individual meritocracy rather than the unconstitutional products of discriminatory public policies. Connecting local and national stories, and reintegrating southern and American history, The Silent Majority is critical reading for those interested in urban and suburban studies, political and social history, the civil rights movement, public policy, and the intersection of race and class in modern America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691133898
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 08/06/2007
Series: Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 947,097
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

List of Tables ix

Acknowledgments xi

Abbreviations xv

Introduction 1

Part I: The Triumph of Moderation 21

Chapter 1: The Divided South 23

Chapter 2: HOPE in the New South 44

Chapter 3: The Open-Schools Movement 69

Chapter 4: The Strange Career of Atlanta Exceptionalism 94

Part II: The Revolt of the Center 119

Chapter 5: The "Charlotte Way" 121

Chapter 6: Suburban Populism 148

Chapter 7: Neighborhood Politics 175

Chapter 8: Class Fairness and Racial Stability 198

Part III: Suburban Strategies 223

Chapter 9: The Suburbanization of Southern Politics 225

Chapter 10: The Failure of the Southern Strategy 251

Chapter 11: Metropolitan Divergence 276

Chapter 12: Regional Convergence 301

Epilogue 324

Notes 331

Index 365

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