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Vol. 18, No. 3: Politics

  //  fall 2012

For our special 2012 election-year Politics issue: Ferrel Guillory on Five Big Things You Need to Know About the South for the Election. The Past, Present, and Future of Southern Politics. Jack Bass on Citizens United, Strom Thurmond, the Southern Strategy, and Jackie O. Control of Public Schools and the Politics of Desegregation. Stephen J. Whitfield on the South in the Shadow of Nazism. Documenting the Immigration Debate Today. Bill Clinton on . . . Bill Clinton.

Table of Contents

Front Porch: Politics

by Harry L. Watson
“Next to football and religion, politics might well be southerners’ favorite sport.” In school we learn that American democracy had a southern birthplace, when Virginia elected its first House of Burgesses in 1619, a year before the Pilgrims signed their celebrated Mayflower Compact. And Virginia also gave us Thomas Jefferson, America’s favorite political philosopher. When »

The South in Red and Purple: Southernized Republicans, Diverse Democrats

by Ferrel Guillory
“Politically, the South is not an assembly of states, acting in unison, in the grip of one party. The region is not one South, undivided.” Twenty-four years ago, both the Democratic and Republican parties held their national conventions in cities of the American South. Democrats gathered in Atlanta to nominate Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts for »

On the Temper of the Times

by Ferrel Guillory
“Of all the women ever romantically linked to Strom Thurmond, none was as deadly as Sue Logue. The judge who sentenced her to the electric chair for murder called her crime ‘the most cold-blooded in the history of the state.'” In 2011, Ferrel Guillory, director of the Program on Public Life, sat down with his »

“What Sells Me”: Bill Clinton, 1974

by Seth Kotch, Walter De Vries
“You can’t be defensive about it. You don’t apologize for it.” In June of 1974, just four days after winning a runoff election in the Democratic primary, the newly minted candidate for Congress in Arkansas’s 3rd District, Bill Clinton, sat down with Jack Bass and Walter De Vries to discuss the campaign. In this interview, »

“No Juan Crow!”: Documenting the Immigration Debate in Alabama Today

by Jennifer E. Brooks
“The bill gained quick notoriety for outdoing Arizona, Georgia, and all other states in the restrictions and penalties levied on unauthorized immigrants, as well as on the citizens, community members, employers, and health and law enforcement agencies that assist, employ, or regulate them.” On June 1, 2011, the Alabama state legislature passed the “Beason-Hammon Alabama »

The South in the Shadow of Nazism

by Stephen J. Whitfield
“In the immediate postwar period, as though sensing that the revulsion from Nazism might be carried too far, senators from the South defied the American Creed. They opposed the campaign to sign the Genocide Convention, for example, which the United Nations had adopted in 1948.” In 1944 the Carnegie Corporation of New York sponsored the »

The Past, Present, and Future of Southern Politics

by Seth C. McKee
“The apparent partisan stability of contemporary southern politics belies a complex and dynamic process that makes it doubtful one party can persist as the dominant force in the most diverse region of the United States . . . This truly ain’t your daddy’s Dixie.” For decades, political scientists conducted election studies in which they singled »

Raising Cane

by Tammy L. Brown
“How can a stolen body steal cane? Blazing sun—no sign of rain . . .” Sweetman cuts sugarcaneBlistering sun—no sign of rainStalks tower overheadCutting cane ’til he dead
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