“Original and revelatory.”—David Blight, author of Frederick DouglassAvery O. Craven Award FinalistA Civil War Memory/Civil War Monitor Best Book of the YearIn April 1865, Robert E. Lee wrote to Ulysses S. Grant asking for peace. Peace was beyond his authority to negotiate, Grant replied, but surrender terms he would discuss. The distinction proved prophetic.After Appomattox reveals that the Civil War did not end with Confederate capitulation in 1865. Instead, a second phase of the war began which lasted until 1871—not the project euphemistically called Reconstruction, but a state of genuine belligerence whose mission was to shape the peace. Using its war powers, the U.S. Army oversaw an ambitious occupation, stationing tens of thousands of troops in outposts across the defeated South. This groundbreaking history shows that the purpose of the occupation was to crush slavery in the face of fierce and violent resistance, but there were limits to its effectiveness: the occupying army never really managed to remake the South.“The United States Army has been far too neglected as a player—a force—in the history of Reconstruction… Downs wants his work to speak to the present, and indeed it should.”—David W. Blight, The Atlantic“Striking… Downs chronicles…a military occupation that was indispensable to the uprooting of slavery.”—Boston Globe“Downs makes the case that the final end to slavery, and the establishment of basic civil and voting rights for all Americans, was ‘born in the face of bayonets.’ …A remarkable, necessary book.”—Slate
The election year of 1948 remains to this day one of the most astonishing in U.S. political history. During this first general election after World War II, Americans looked to their governments for change. As the battle for the nation’s highest office came to a head in Illinois, the state was embroiled in its own partisan showdowns—elections that would prove critical in the course of state and national history.
In Battleground 1948, Robert E. Hartley offers the first comprehensive chronicle of this historic election year and its consequences, which still resonate today. Focusing on the races that ushered Adlai Stevenson, Paul Douglas, and Harry Truman into office—the last by the slimmest of margins—Battleground 1948 details the pivotal events that played out in the state of Illinois, from the newspaper wars in Chicago to tragedy in the mine at Centralia.
In addition to in-depth revelations on the saga of the American election machine in 1948, Hartley probes the dark underbelly of Illinois politics in the 1930s and 1940s to set the stage, spotlight key party players, and expose the behind-the-scenes influences of media, money, corruption, and crime. In doing so, he draws powerful parallels between the politics of the past and those of the present. Above all, Battleground 1948 tells the story of grassroots change writ large on the American political landscape—change that helped a nation move past an era of conflict and depression, and forever transformed Illinois and the U.S. government.
Details the ferment in civil rights that took place across the South before the momentous Brown vs. Board of Education decision in 1954
This collection refutes the notion that the movement began with the Supreme Court decision, and suggests, rather, that the movement originated in the 1930s and earlier, spurred by the Great Depression and, later, World War II—events that would radically shape the course of politics in the South and the nation into the next century.
This work explores the growth of the movement through its various manifestations—the activities of politicians, civil rights leaders, religious figures, labor unionists, and grass-roots activists—throughout the 1940s and 1950s. It discusses the critical leadership roles played by women and offers a new perspective on the relationship between the NAACP and the Communist Party.
Before Brown shows clearly that, as the drive toward racial equality advanced and national political attitudes shifted, the validity of white supremacy came increasingly into question. Institutionalized racism in the South had always offered white citizens material advantages by preserving their economic superiority and making them feel part of a privileged class. When these rewards were threatened by the civil rights movement, a white backlash occurred.
Binga is the definitive full-length biography of Jesse Binga, the first black banker in Chicago. Born into a large family in Detroit, Binga arrived in Chicago in 1892 in his late twenties with virtually nothing. Through his wits and resourcefulness, he rose to wealth and influence as a real estate broker, and in 1908 he founded the Binga Bank, the first black-owned bank in the city. But his achievements were followed by an equally notable downfall. Binga recounts this gripping story about race, history, politics, and finance.
The Black Belt, where Binga’s bank was located, was a segregated neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side—a burgeoning city within a city—and its growth can be traced through the arc of Binga’s career. He preached and embodied an American gospel of self-help and accrued wealth while expanding housing options and business opportunities for blacks. Devout Roman Catholics, he and his wife Eudora supported church activities and various cultural and artistic organizations; their annual Christmas party was the Black Belt’s social event of the year. But Binga’s success came at the price of a vicious backlash. After he moved his family into a white neighborhood in 1917, their house was bombed multiple times, his offices were attacked twice, and he became a lightning rod for the worst race riots in Chicago history, which took place in 1919. Binga persevered, but, starting with the stock market crash of October 1929, a string of reversals cost him his bank, his property, and his fortune.
A quintessentially Chicago story, Binga tells the history of racial change in one of the most segregated cities in America and how an extraordinary man stood as a symbol of hope in a community isolated by racial animosity.
When the venerable historian Norman D. Brown published Hood, Bonnet, and Little Brown Jug in 1984, he earned national acclaim for revealing the audacious tactics at play in Texas politics during the Roaring Twenties, detailing the effects of the Ku Klux Klan, newly enfranchised women, and Prohibition. Shortly before his death in 2015, Brown completed Biscuits, the Dole, and Nodding Donkeys, which picks up just as the Democratic Party was poised for a bruising fight in the 1930 primary. Charting the governorships of Dan Moody, Ross Sterling, Miriam “Ma” Ferguson in her second term, and James V. Allred, this engrossing sequel takes its title from the notion that Texas politicians should give voters what they want (“When you cease to deliver the biscuits they will not be for you any longer,” said Jim “Pa” Ferguson) while remaining wary of federal assistance (the dole) in a state where the economy is fueled by oil pump jacks (nodding donkeys).
Taking readers to an era when a self-serving group of Texas politicians operated in a system that was closed to anyone outside the state’s white, wealthy echelons, Brown unearths a riveting, little-known history whose impact continues to ripple at the capitol.
Four men played leading roles in the political drama that unfolded in South Texas during the first decades of this century:
Evan Anders's Boss Rule in South Texas tells the story of these men and the county rings they shaped in South Texas during the Progressive Era.
Power was the byword of the bosses of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and Anders explores the sources of that power. These politicos did not shirk from using corrupt and even violent means to attain their goals, but Anders demonstrates that their keen sensitivity to the needs of their diverse constituency was key to their long-term success. Patronage and other political services were their lifeblood, and the allies gained by these ranged from developers and businessmen to ranchers and Mexican Americans, wealthy and poor.
Besides examining the workings of the Democratic machines of four South Texas counties, Anders explores the role of the Hispanic populace in shaping the politics of the border region, the economic development of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and its political repercussions, the emergence and nature of progressive movements at both local and state levels, and the part played by the Texas Rangers in supporting bossism in South Texas.
Analyzes and describes the state government of Alabama during the Bourbon Period as it operated under the Democratic and Conservative party
Hailed as the definitive study of the subject when it appeared in 1951, Bourbon Democracy in Alabama analyzes and describes the state government of Alabama during the Bourbon Period as it operated under the Democratic and Conservative party. For this edition, the author has prepared a new foreword in which he surveys recent scholarship. The term Bourbon originated during the Reconstruction Era and was used by the Radicals to label their Democratic opponents as anti-progressive and ultraconservative. The term has been adopted generally to describe the period following the overthrow of Radical Reconstruction.
Along with bar rooms and bordellos, there has hardly been a more male-focused institution in Texas history than the Texas Legislature. Yet the eighty-six women who have served there have made a mark on the institution through the legislation they have passed, much of which addresses their concerns as citizens who have been inadequately represented by male lawmakers.
This first complete record of the women of the Texas Legislature places such well-known figures as Kay Bailey Hutchison, Sissy Farenthold, Barbara Jordan, Irma Rangel, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Susan Combs, and Judith Zaffirini in the context of their times and among the women and men with whom they served. Drawing on years of primary research and interviews, Nancy Baker Jones and Ruthe Winegarten offer concise biographies and profiles of all eighty-six women who have served or currently hold office in the Texas Legislature.
The biographies describe the women lawmakers' lives, campaign strategies, and legislative successes and defeats. Four introductory essays provide historical and cultural context for the biographies, which are arranged chronologically to give a sense of the passage of time, of relationships among and between women, and of the issues of their eras.
This anthology brings together the late Barry A. Crouch's most important articles on the African American experience in Texas during Reconstruction. Grouped topically, the essays explore what freedom meant to the newly emancipated, how white Texans reacted to the freed slaves, and how Freedmen's Bureau agents and African American politicians worked to improve the lot of ordinary African American Texans. The volume also contains Crouch's seminal review of Reconstruction historiography, "Unmanacling Texas Reconstruction: A Twenty-Year Perspective." The introductory pieces by Arnoldo De Leon and Larry Madaras recapitulate Barry Crouch's scholarly career and pay tribute to his stature in the field of Reconstruction history.
A mid-level Confederate official and lawyer in secessionist North Carolina, David Schenck (1835–1902) penned extensive diaries that have long been a wellspring of information for historians. In the midst of the secession crisis, Schenck overcame long-established social barriers and reshaped antebellum notions of manhood, religion, and respectability into the image of a Confederate nationalist. He helped found the revolutionary States’ Rights Party and relentlessly pursued his vision of an idealized Southern society even after the collapse of the Confederacy. In the first biography of this complicated figure, Rodney Steward opens a window into the heart and soul of the Confederate South’s burgeoning professional middle class and reveals the complex set of desires, aspirations, and motivations that inspired men like Schenck to cast for themselves a Confederate identity that would endure the trials of war, the hardship of Reconstruction, and the birth of a New South.
After secession, Schenck remained on the home front as a receiver under the Act of Sequestration, enriching himself on the confiscated property of those he accused of disloyalty. After the war, his position as a leader in the Ku Klux Klan and his resistance to Radical Reconstruction policies won him a seat on the superior court bench, but scathing newspaper articles about his past upended a bid for chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, a compelling fall from grace that reveals much about the shifting currents in North Carolina society and politics in the years after Reconstruction. During the last twenty years of his life, spent in Greensboro, Schenck created the Guilford Battleground Company in an effort to redeem the honor of the Tar Heels who fought there and his own honor as well.
Schenck’s life story provides a powerful new lens to examine and challenge widely held interpretations of secessionists, Confederate identity, Civil War economics, and home-front policies. Far more than a standard biography, this compelling volume challenges the historiography of the Confederacy at many levels and offers a sophisticated analysis of the evolution of a Confederate identity over a half century.
Rodney Steward is an assistant professor of history at the University of South Carolina, Salkehatchie. His works have appeared in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Encyclopedia of North Carolina, and North Carolina Historical Review.
The death of David Leo Lawrence in 1966 ended a fifty-year career of major influence in American politics. In a front-page obituary, the New York Times noted that Lawrence, the longtime mayor of Pittsburgh, governor of Pennsylvania, and power in Democratic national politics, disliked being called Boss. But, the Times noted, “he was one anyway.”
Certainly Lawrence was a consumate politician. Born in a poor, working-class neighborhood, in the present-day Golden Triange of Pittsburgh, he was from boyhood an astute student of politics and a devoted Democrat. Paying minute attention to every detail at the ward and precinct level, he revived the moribund Democratic party of Pittsburgh and fashioned a machine that upset the long-entrenched Republican organization in 1932.
When “Davy” Lawrence, as he was affectionately known, won the gubernatorial election in 1958, he became the first Roman Catholic governor of Pennsylvania and the oldest. But he achieved his greatest public recognition as mayor of Pittsburgh. Taking office in 1945, at the close of World War II, this stalwart Democrat formed an alliance with the predominantly Republican business community to bring about the much acclaimed Pittsburgh Renaissance, transforming the downtown business district and persuading many large corporations to retain their national headquarters in Pittsburgh. In 1958 the editors of Fortune magazine name Pittsburgh as one of the eight best administered cities in America.
Don’t Call Me Boss examines the lengthy career of this remarkable politician. Using over one hundred interviews, as well as extensive archival material, Michael Weber demonstrates how Lawrence was able to balance his intense political drive and devotion to the Democratic party with the larger needs of his city and state. Although his administration was not free of controversy, as indicated by the city’s police and free work scandals. Lawrence showed that it was possible to make the transition from nineteenth-century political boss to modern municipal manager. He was one of the few politicians of the century to do so. When the undisputed bosses of other American cities - the Curleys, Pendergasts, and Hagues - were out of power and disgraced, Lawrence was elected governor of Pennsylvania.
More than twenty years after his death, David L. Lawrence and his success in rebuilding the city of Pittsburgh continue to serve as an example of effective urban leadership.
Runner-up, Violet Crown Award, Writer's League of Texas, 2008
Renowned for his "brilliant legislative mind" and political oratory—as well as for bicycling to Congress in a rumpled white linen suit and bow tie—U.S. Congressman Bob Eckhardt was a force to reckon with in Texas and national politics from the 1940s until 1980. A liberal Democrat who successfully championed progressive causes, from workers' rights to consumer protection to environmental preservation and energy conservation, Eckhardt won the respect of opponents as well as allies. Columnist Jack Anderson praised him as one of the most effective members of Congress, where Eckhardt was a national leader and mentor to younger congressmen such as Al Gore.
In this biography of Robert Christian Eckhardt (1913-2001), Gary A. Keith tells the story of Eckhardt's colorful life and career within the context of the changing political landscape of Texas and the rise of the New Right and the two-party state. He begins with Eckhardt's German-American family heritage and then traces his progression from labor lawyer, political organizer, and cofounder of the progressive Texas Observer magazine to Texas state legislator and U.S. congressman. Keith describes many of Eckhardt's legislative battles and victories, including the passage of the Open Beaches Act and the creation of the Big Thicket National Preserve, the struggle to limit presidential war-making ability through the War Powers Act, and the hard fight to shape President Carter's energy policy, as well as Eckhardt's work in Texas to tax the oil and gas industry.
The only thorough recounting of the life of a memorable, important, and flamboyant man, Eckhardt also recalls the last great era of progressive politics in the twentieth century and the key players who strove to make Texas and the United States a more just, inclusive society.
"This is a book that anyone interested in South Carolina history, the emergence of the New South, and the southern press, so important to the regional culture, will find valuable. Clark has researched all the important manuscript collections and a wide variety of other sources. He also writes in a style that is lucid and imaginative." —Journal of Southern History
Known for his fearlessness in both the political arena and the battlefield, Frank Blair is a Missouri legend. As a member of one of the most prominent and powerful political families in America during the nineteenth century, possibly the equivalent of the twentieth-century Kennedys, Frank was steeped in politics at an early age. The youngest son of Francis Preston Blair, editor of Andrew Jackson's Washington Globe and adviser to Presidents Andrew Jackson through Andrew Johnson, Frank Blair was greatly influenced by his father, who had high political expectations of him.
Volatile and combative, Blair was either strongly admired or hated by the public figures of his day. He held adamantly to his opinions and fought hard for his political causes. He was an ardent supporter of Abraham Lincoln and championed the president's program in Congress and in Missouri against the frequent assaults of the Radicals. Credited with being the principal leader in saving Missouri for the Union in 1861, Blair later served with great distinction at Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and in the Sherman campaigns throughout Georgia and the Carolinas. He is one of only two Missourians ever honored by his state in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.
Frank Blair: Lincoln's Conservative reveals the full extent of Blair's importance as a national political figure. Specialists in nineteenth-century America, students of Missouri history, and Civil War buffs will welcome this study, which will long stand as the definitive work on this influential and colorful character.
One of Missouri's best-known leaders of the Progressive Era, Joseph W. Folk epitomized the moral reformer in politics. As a crusading district attorney in St. Louis, Folk won national acclaim for his investigations of wrongdoing in municipal government. With the help of muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens, Folk revealed for the first time the extent of political corruption then plaguing America's cities and helped bring about a popular demand for the regeneration of municipal government nationwide.
A firm believer that the law was a weapon with which to check political corruption and restrain powerful special interests, Folk popularized the "Missouri Idea," the doctrine that public office is a public trust, not merely an opportunity for private gain. Elected as governor of Missouri in 1904, Folk orchestrated a remarkable record of legislative accomplishment. He established himself as one of Missouri's outstanding governors and one of the nation's leading progressive reformers.
In asserting that traditional moral values could be applied to politics, Folk became known among friends and enemies as Holy Joe. His refusal to make any distinction between public and private morality, however, alienated some Missourians, while his disregard for party organization angered politicians. His idealism cost him political advancement and ultimately a place in national politics.
Whereas some studies of the Progressive Era have minimized the moral dimension of Progressivism and downplayed the importance of reformers like Joseph W. Folk, Holy Joe establishes him as a major leader of the Progressive movement. This biography will be a welcome addition to the literature on the subject.
This is the epic story of how African-Americans, in the six decades following slavery, transformed themselves into a political people—an embryonic black nation. As Steven Hahn demonstrates, rural African-Americans were central political actors in the great events of disunion, emancipation, and nation-building. At the same time, Hahn asks us to think in more expansive ways about the nature and boundaries of politics and political practice.Emphasizing the importance of kinship, labor, and networks of communication, A Nation under Our Feet explores the political relations and sensibilities that developed under slavery and shows how they set the stage for grassroots mobilization. Hahn introduces us to local leaders, and shows how political communities were built, defended, and rebuilt. He also identifies the quest for self-governance as an essential goal of black politics across the rural South, from contests for local power during Reconstruction, to emigrationism, biracial electoral alliances, social separatism, and, eventually, migration.Hahn suggests that Garveyism and other popular forms of black nationalism absorbed and elaborated these earlier struggles, thus linking the first generation of migrants to the urban North with those who remained in the South. He offers a new framework—looking out from slavery—to understand twentieth-century forms of black political consciousness as well as emerging battles for civil rights. It is a powerful story, told here for the first time, and one that presents both an inspiring and a troubling perspective on American democracy.
Paul Powell emerged from the hill country of southern Illinois to serve in state government from 1935 until his death in 1970. His political tenure included three terms as Speaker of the Illinois House, four terms as minority leader, and two terms as secretary of state. The sponsor of hundreds of bills, he worked tirelessly for his constituents in southern Illinois. He also worked tirelessly to promote his own interests.
In this first political biography of Powell, Robert E. Hartley follows the money. He tells how this man of humble origins and meager means amassed a world-class political and financial base. Part of that story is the disclosure of a personal fortune that boggled minds, including the unbelievable yarn of the $800,000 cash found in the hotel room following Powell's death.
Powell never earned a state salary of more than $30,000 per year, yet in the last year of his life, his federal income tax return showed an income of more than $200,000. At his death his estate totaled $3.2 million, and, when settled in 1978, was worth $4.6 million, including nearly $1 million in racetrack stock.
Following Powell's story, Hartley takes us deep into the Illinois political world of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, a time when politicians were on an "honor system" regarding their financial holdings. This was before disclosure of political contributions, before computer records, and before public meetings laws.
Long before movie stars Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger became governors of California, a popular radio personality with no previous political experience—who wasn't even registered to vote—swept into the governor's office of Texas. W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel was a 1930s businessman who discovered the power of radio to sell flour. His musical shows with the Light Crust Doughboys (which launched the career of Bob Wills) and his radio homilies extolling family and Christian values found a vast, enthusiastic audience in Depression-era Texas. When Pappy decided to run for governor in 1938 as a way to sell more flour—a fact he proudly proclaimed throughout the campaign—the people of Texas voted for him in record numbers. And despite the ineptitude for politics he displayed once in office, Texans returned him to the governorship in 1940 and then elected him to the U.S. Senate in 1941 in a special election in which he defeated Lyndon Johnson, as well as to a full term as senator in 1942.
While the hit film O Brother, Where Art Thou? celebrated a fictional "Please Pass the Biscuits, Pappy" O'Daniel, this book captures the essence of the real man through photographs taken by employees of the Texas Department of Public Safety, most of which are previously unpublished. Reminiscent of the work of WPA photographers such as Russell Lee and Dorothea Lange, these photos record the last unscripted era of politics when a charismatic candidate could still address a crowd from an unpainted front porch or a mobile bandstand in the back of a truck. They strikingly confirm that Pappy O'Daniel's ability to connect with people was as great in person as on the radio.
To set the photos in context, Bill Crawford has written an entertaining text that discusses the political landscape in Texas and the United States in the 1930s, as well as the rise of radio as mass medium for advertising and entertainment. He also provides extensive captions for each picture. John Anderson, Photo Archivist of the Texas State Archives, discusses the work of Joel Tisdale and the other DPS photographers who left this extraordinary record of the greatest vote-getter in Texas history, who became one of America's first celebrities to cross the line from entertainment to political office.
Library of Alabama Classics
Winner of the Albert J. Beveridge Award of the American Historical Association
“In this excellent study of Alabama politics, Hackney deftly analyzes the leadership, following, and essential character of Populism and Progressivism during the period from 1890 to 1910. The work is exceptionally well written; it deals with the personal, social, and political intricacies involved; and it combines traditional and quantitative techniques with a clarity and imagination that should serve as a spur and a model for many future studies.” – Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
“Whatever the ultimate judgment on its conclusions may be, this is an important study and one that should stimulate additional research.
“Hackney has very skillfully integrated his quantitative findings and the results of more traditional research. In this respect the book should for some time be a prime exhibit of the utility of the ‘new political history’ [and] we should receive Hackney’s contribution with both gratitude and admiration.” – Journal of Interdisciplinary History
Sheldon Hackney is a native Alabamian, and -- perhaps aptly -- the son-in-law of courageous Alabama progressives Virginia and Clifford Durr. A student of C. Vann Woodward at Yale, Hackney taught at Princeton University, served as president of Tulane University (1975-80) and the University of Pennsylvania (1981-1993). In 1993 he was appointed by President Clinton as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, where he served until 1997. After his NEH service he returned to the University of Pennsylvania as Boies Professor of United States History.
A reprint of the 1910 study, Reconstruction in Texas examines the events that still impact upon Texas and the South.
Recounts in detail the volatile political period in Alabama following the end of the Civil War
Following the end of the Civil War, white Southerners were forced to concede equal rights to those who had been enslaved, ushering in a new and ruthless brand of politics. Suddenly, the status and place of some four million former slaves dominated the national and regional political dialogue. In Alabama, the Republican Party established itself quickly and powerfully with the participation of a newly freed constituency, firmly aligned against the Democratic Party that had long dictated the governance of the state. Well-heeled planters, merchants, and bankers, joined by yeoman farmers, staged a counterrevolution by gravitating strongly to the Democratic Party and its unabashedly white supremacist measures. The ensuing power struggle in the birthplace of the Confederacy is at the heart of Reconstruction Politics in a Deep South State: Alabama, 1865–1874.
What emerges in William Warren Rogers Jr.’s comprehensive study of the era is a detailed examination of Reconstruction politics, particularly in Alabama. This book explores an explosive and unpredictable political environment that a few years earlier would have been inconceivable. A vivid picture emerges of courthouse rallies and bitter infighting in legislative circles. Rogers’s narrative ventures into darker places as well: to the Tennessee Valley and the Black Belt regions of Alabama, where Klan nightriders used violence against an enemy and ideology they could not abide.
The attempt to capture and account for the unforgiving political landscape created by the extraordinary circumstances of Reconstruction constitutes this study’s most central contribution. Rogers often quotes black and white citizens, Democrats and Republicans. Drawn from newspapers, correspondence, and various federal investigations, these firsthand voices are passionate, unvarnished, and filled with conviction. They offer a startling immediacy and illustrate the temper—or distemper—of the times. Readers are treated to a panoramic unveiling of Reconstruction Alabama politics that provides a sense of what was truly at stake: the values by which a region and the nation as a whole would chart its future for the century to come.
Born on a farm near Anahuac, Texas, in 1875 and possessed of only a fourth-grade education, Ross Sterling was one of the most successful Texans of his generation. Driven by a relentless work ethic, he become a wealthy oilman, banker, newspaper publisher, and, from 1931 to 1933, one-term governor of Texas. Sterling was the principal founder of the Humble Oil and Refining Company, which eventually became the largest division of the ExxonMobil Corporation, as well as the owner of the Houston Post.
Eager to "preserve a narrative record of his life and deeds," Ross Sterling hired Ed Kilman, an old friend and editorial page editor of the Houston Post, to write his biography. Though the book was nearly finished before Sterling's death in 1949, it never found a publisher due to Kilman's florid writing style and overly hagiographic portrayal of Sterling.
In this volume, by contrast, editor Don Carleton uses the original oral history dictated by Ross Sterling to Ed Kilman to present the former governor's life story in his own words. Sterling vividly describes his formative years, early business ventures, and active role in developing the Texas oil industry. He also recalls his political career, from his appointment to the Texas Highway Commission to his term as governor, ending with his controversial defeat for reelection by "Ma" Ferguson. Sterling's reminiscences constitute an important primary source not only on the life of a Texan who deserves to be more widely remembered, but also on the history of Houston and the growth of the American oil industry.
Who was this scalawag? Simply a native, white, Alabama Republican! Scorned by his fellow white Southerners, he suffered, in his desire for socioeconomic reform and political power, more than mere verbal abuse and social ostracism; he lived constantly under the threat of physical violence. When first published in 1977, Wiggin’s treatment of the scalawag was the first book-length study of scalawags in any state, and it remains the most thorough treatment. According to The Journal of American History, this is the “most effective challenge to the scalawag stereotype yet to appear.”
Using thorough and stark statistics, Kennedy describes a South emerging from World War II, coming to grips with the racism and feudalism that had held it back for generations. He includes an all-out Who’s Who, based on his own undercover investigations, of the "hate-mongers, race-racketeers, and terrorists who swore that apartheid must go on forever." The first paperback edition brings to a new generation of readers Kennedy’s searing profile of Dixie before the civil rights movement.
A challenge to the long-held view that the only important and influential politicians in post-Reconstruction Deep South states were Democrats.
In this insightful and exhaustively researched volume, Samuel L. Webb presents new evidence that, contrary to popular belief, voters in at least one Deep South state did not flee en masse from the Republican party after Reconstruction. As Webb demonstrates conclusively, the party gained strength among white voters in Upcountry areas of northern Alabama between 1896 and 1920. Not only did GOP presidential candidates win more than a dozen area counties but Republican congressional candidates made progress in Democratic strongholds, and local GOP officials gained control of several county courthouses.
Nor were these new Republicans simply the descendants of anti-Confederate families, as some historians have claimed. Rather, they were former independents, Greenbackers, and Populists, who, in keeping with the 1890s Populist movement, were reacting against what they perceived as the control of the Democratic party by "moneyed elites" and planter landlords. Webb also breaks with previous historical opinion by showing that ex-Populists in the Hill Country, who had been radical reformers during the 1890s, remained reform minded after 1900.
Webb's ground-breaking reassessment of Alabama state politics from Reconstruction to the 1920s describes a people whose political culture had strong roots in the democratic and egalitarian Jacksonian ideology that dominated north Alabama in the antebellum period. These people carried forward elements of Jacksonianism into the late 19th century, with its tenets continuing to influence them well into the early 20th century.
More than a description of this particular event, however, Who Killed John Clayton? traces patterns of political violence in this section of the South over a three-decade period. Using vivid courtroom-type detail, Barnes describes how violence was used to define and control the political system in the post-Reconstruction South and how this system in turn produced Jim Crow. Although white Unionists and freed blacks had joined under the banner of the Republican Party and gained the upper hand during Reconstruction, during these last decades of the nineteenth century conservative elites, first organized as the Ku Klux Klan and then as the revived Democratic Party, regained power—via such tactics as murdering political opponents, lynching blacks, and defrauding elections.
This important recounting of the struggle over political power will engage those interested in Southern and American history.
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