Strom Thurmond and the Politics of Southern Change

Strom Thurmond and the Politics of Southern Change

Book - 1993
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Baker & Taylor
Tells the civil rights story from a white perspective through a chronicle of the life and ideological evolution of the South's most provocative and colorful senator, who grew from a white supremacist into an elder statesman respected by black leaders. 15,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
This is a book about the white side of the civil rights struggle - the fascinating story of the South's political evolution over the past fifty years, told through the life and career of Strom Thurmond, one of the South's most provocative and enduring politicians.
Virtually all books that explore the American civil rights movement do so from the perspective of black America, chronicling the collective march to black empowerment through the experiences of individual black leaders. Strom Thurmond and the Politics of Southern Change approaches this explosive era from the point of view of those for whom the sharing of power was most wrenching - the Southern white politicians. With full access to Thurmond and his archives, and with more than twelve years of research on Thurmond to her credit, Nadine Cohodas here gives a compelling account of an era of tumultuous change in America.
State senator, judge, governor, and states rights candidate for president before he came to serve in Washington, Senator Thurmond was to many the embodiment of white supremacy and a classic, die-hard segregationist. The leading Dixiecrat whose 24-hour-18-minute filibuster against a 1957 civil rights bill set a record that still stands, Thurmond eventually underwent a striking metamorphosis: he was the first South Carolina politician to hire a black staff member, he presided over the crucial 1982 extension of the Voting Rights Act, and he ultimately threw his unqualified support behind the law that honors Martin Luther King, Jr., his longtime nemesis. Switching party allegiances and adapting to new realities, Thurmond changed the rules of Southern politics forever. Today he is one of the Senate's respected elder statesmen, held in high regard by leaders and trusted by his constituents, black and white alike.
Strom Thurmond's life and work take us through a century of historic terrain, from the age of Jim Crow through the turmoil of civil rights to the present day. With Thurmond, we meet a colorful gallery of Southerners who shaped the political landscape: Pitchfork Ben Tillman, Cotton Ed Smith, Olin D. Johnston, Richard Russell, Orval Faubus, George Wallace, and Jim Eastland among them. We see the pressures that black activists brought to bear on these men. Thurmond's sixty-five-year career vividly illustrates the upheavals and accommodations forced on the South by the civil rights movement. His dramatic adjustment to a reordered Southern society is testament to the movement's profound impact on this country. Superbly researched and scrupulously fair, Strom Thurmond is the story of an extraordinary political odyssey and an invaluable contribution to the history of politics and race in America.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, [1993]
Copyright Date: ©1993
ISBN: 9780671689353
Branch Call Number: 975.704 COHOD
Characteristics: 574 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm


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