Catalogue


Pursuit of unity : a political history of the American South /
Michael Perman.
imprint
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2009.
description
xiv, 390 p.
ISBN
080783324X (cloth : alk. paper), 9780807833247 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2009.
isbn
080783324X (cloth : alk. paper)
9780807833247 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
7001719
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Perman surveys the entire span of southern political history from 1800 to the present. He reveals continuous political crisis in the 19th century, followed by the era of the "Solid South," the one-party monopoly in the 20th century that began to crumble after the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Along the way he highlights an array of unusual and colorful southern politicians, such as John C. Calhoun, William Mahone, James K. Vardaman, Huey Long, George Wallace, and Lyndon Johnson.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-09-01:
Perman (Univ. of Illinois at Chicago) writes that even though many historians and political scientists have studied the South, no one has produced a comprehensive study of southern politics from their beginnings to the present. His study tries to fill that gap. Perman accurately defines the South as the 11 states that formed the Confederacy, and he emphasizes the importance of political parties and their role in forming southern political culture. He observes that the South during the past 200 years has followed a pattern of one-party or one-party dominant politics, and that an overriding theme of southern politics has been a constant quest for unity in a region that realized it was different from the rest of the country. The author traces southern political experience from the comfortable early national period when the Virginia dynasty often led the country, to the experience as a southern nation, through Democratic dominance of the late 19th century, when Democrats disfranchised virtually anyone who might vote against them, to the persistence of the "Solid South" and the anomaly that is the current South as a region with two-party competition that might be evolving into a one-party system again. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. J. P. Sanson Louisiana State University at Alexandria
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Well written and accessible." - Southwestern Historical Quarterly
"Recommended."Choice
Recommended. -- Choice
"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
"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
"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
"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 of southern politics will enjoy this first-rate study." -North Carolina Historical Review
"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 of southern politics will enjoy this first-rate study." - North Carolina Historical Review
"An important new study." - Journal of American History
"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
"A clear, sound synthesis of a crucial subject. . . . Readers at every level should applaud his invaluable contribution." -- Civil War Book Review
"A clear, sound synthesis of a crucial subject. . . . Readers at every level should applaud his invaluable contribution." --Civil War Book Review
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Surveying the entire span of southern political history, Michael Perman takes a revealing and wide-ranging approach to the region’s politics. During the nineteenth century, the South experienced nearly continuous political crisis from nullification through secession, war, and Reconstruction, concluding with the disfranchisement campaigns at century’s end. The struggle for power took a different form in the twentieth century, as the South’s political class forged the Solid South and then maneuvered to perpetuate its control within the region and its influence within the nation. But there was also continuity within this pattern of discord and crisis. First, southern politics generated--to a degree not found elsewhere in the United States--a remarkable array of unusual and colorful politicians, such as John C. Calhoun, William Mahone, James K. Vardaman, Huey Long, George Wallace, and Lyndon Johnson. Even more significant was the lack of a competitive, two-party politics for the better part of the more than two centuries since the nation’s founding. For most of the nineteenth century, the South’s political system was characterized by the dominance of one party, the Democrats, and in the twentieth, by the one-party monopoly known as the Solid South. This propensity toward one-party politics differentiated the South and its political history from the rest of the country. But since the passage of the momentous Voting Rights Act in 1965, one-party politics has all but disappeared and, along with it, the South’s pursuit of unity.
Main Description
Surveying the entire span of southern political history, Michael Perman takes a revealing and wide-ranging approach to the region's politics. During the nineteenth century, the South experienced nearly continuous political crisis from nullification through secession, war, and Reconstruction, concluding with the disfranchisement campaigns at century's end. The struggle for power took a different form in the twentieth century, as the South's political class forged the Solid South and then maneuvered to perpetuate its control within the region and its influence within the nation. But there was also continuity within this pattern of discord and crisis. First, southern politics generated--to a degree not found elsewhere in the United States--a remarkable array of unusual and colorful politicians, such as John C. Calhoun, William Mahone, James K. Vardaman, Huey Long, George Wallace, and Lyndon Johnson. Even more significant was the lack of a competitive, two-party politics for the better part of the more than two centuries since the nation's founding. For most of the nineteenth century, the South's political system was characterized by the dominance of one party, the Democrats, and in the twentieth, by the one-party monopoly known as the Solid South. This propensity toward one-party politics differentiated the South and its political history from the rest of the country. But since the passage of the momentous Voting Rights Act in 1965, one-party politics has all but disappeared and, along with it, the South's pursuit of unity.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
One-Party Dominance, 1800-1861
A One-Party Southp. 11
Republican Ascendancy
The Republicans in Powerp. 12
Federalists in the Southp. 16
The Virginia Dynastyp. 21
The Missouri Crisis, 1819-1821p. 32
A Two-Party Southp. 38
Whigs and Democrats
A System of National Partiesp. 41
The Whig Party in the Southp. 46
John C. Calhoun's Search for Southern Unityp. 52
A One-Party South Againp. 60
Democratic Ascendancy
Sectional Issues in National Politicsp. 60
Party Differences Disappearp. 63
The Southern Whigs Disappearp. 72
One-Party Politics Returnsp. 79
The Secession Crisisp. 83
No-Party Politics, 1861-1865
Politics without Partiesp. 97
The Confederacy
The Confederate Constitutionp. 98
The Confederacy's Political Systemp. 102
One-Party Hegemony, 1865-1901
Party Politics under Assaultp. 117
Reconstruction
The North's Termsp. 117
The South'sResponsep. 122
Illegitimacy and Insurgency in the Reconstructed Southp. 126
Regime Change in the Reconstruction Southp. 136
Achieving Democratic Hegemonyp. 142
The 1880s
The Southern Democrats in Powerp. 145
The Challenge of the Virginia Readjustersp. 151
Eliminating the Oppositionp. 157
The 1890s
The Populist Insurgencyp. 159
Disfranchisementp. 169
A New Electoral System for the Southp. 177
One-Party System, 1901-1965
Democrats and Demagogues in the Solid Southp. 185
The Solid South as a Political Systemp. 185
The Southern Demagoguep. 194
Reform and Reaction in the Solid Southp. 204
Southern Progressivismp. 204
The South in the Wilson Administrationp. 212
Business Progressivism and the "Benighted South"p. 218
The New Deal Challenge to the Solid Southp. 225
Thunder from the South: Huey Longp. 225
The South in the New Dealp. 231
The New Deal in the Southp. 244
The Liberal Challenge in the 1940sp. 248
The South and the Home Frontp. 249
Postwar Repercussions and Dangersp. 251
The South's Widening Veto over Social Policyp. 259
The Solid South under Attackp. 263
White Defiance
The Dixiecrat Revoltp. 265
"Massive Resistance"p. 276
The Solid South under Attackp. 288
Black Gains
The Campaign for Civil Rights and the Votep. 288
Securing the Right to Votep. 299
From One Party to Two, 1965-1994
Old Responses and New Directions, 1965-1980p. 307
Stoking the White Backlash: George Wallacep. 309
Southern Democrats in the Carter Decadep. 319
The End of the Solid South in Congressp. 327
The Emergence of a Two-Party South since 1980p. 334
Conclusionp. 352
Notesp. 359
Bibliographyp. 369
Indexp. 379
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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