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The Rise of Southern Republicans
|Title||The Rise of Southern Republicans|
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|Last Modified||eddy 9_99 - December 19, 2002 02:24am|
|Description||The South's political identity has been transformed in the last half-century from a region of Democratic hegemony to a region of Republican majority. Earl and Merle Black, political science professors at Rice and Emory universities, respectively (and coauthors of Politics and Society in the South), sedulously examine this remarkable change. The Blacks first explain the historical circumstances that made the Southern Democratic Party virtually invincible until the 1960s and then analyze, decade by decade, the cultural, demographic and political events that eroded Democratic advantages and made a competitive Republican Southern strategy viable. Their analysis is based on data from an exhaustive, sometimes overwhelmingly dense, study of Southern congressional races that evaluates voting patterns according to candidates' liberal or conservative positions, and by voters' gender, race, party affiliation and political philosophy. Wisely, the Blacks also provide numerous graphs and charts that help readers make sense of their complex, statistically driven research. In the end, the authors produce a richly detailed and astute picture of the forces that combined to change the Southern political balance. They also predict that the South is likely to remain a highly competitive political battleground in which both Democrats and Republicans can prosper depending on local demographics, the appeal of particular candidates and national events. This is a work of serious scholarship that lacks any hint of partisan purpose. Committed readers will increase their understanding of both Southern and national politics. The Blacks' effort may well be the definitive statement on Southern politics over the 20th century.|