Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

Thank you to everyone at the University of Alabama Press for their help and assistance with this book. I am especially grateful to Curtis Clark, director, Dan Waterman, editor-in- chief, and Donna Cox Baker, history acquisitions editor, for their encouragement and support throughout. Many thanks also...

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Introduction: “Sophistic Pruning” and Smoke-and-Mirrors Politics

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pp. 1-10

Ryland Randolph was a very rough man.¹ During Reconstruction in Alabama, Randolph beat, whipped, knifed, stabbed, shot, and terrorized black freedmen and any white person (Yankee carpetbagger or native scalawag) who dared to assist blacks—even in matters as mundane as learning to read...

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1. “We Must Not Holler Till We Are Clean Out of the Woods”

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pp. 11-33

Let us return for a moment to Ryland Randolph’s Reconstruction. Because with words and deeds as simultaneously repellent and hypnotic as Randolph’s, we are—at root—talking about the construction of mechanisms to ensure conservative, white, patriarchal rule that would eventually be exported to...

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2. Social Darwinism, Free-Market Fundamentalism, and “The Status Quo Society”

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pp. 34-53

The deepest and most firmly rooted pillar of southern society in the 1940s was an almost unshakable commitment to white supremacy. Yet it was a society committed to, and predicated on, a whole gamut of Social Darwinist beliefs. White supremacy, while the prime underpinning and value, hardly...

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3. “We Must Wake Up the Roosevelt Worshippers to What the New Deal Is Doing to Torpedo White Supremacy”

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pp. 54-75

For all their disgust with the direction of the national party, people like Wallace Malone were not yet ready to turn their backs completely on the Democrats and embrace the Republican Party. Instead they largely entertained the idea of somehow taking back their party; making it over again in the image...

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4. Gathering Clouds

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pp. 76-85

All this angst, turmoil, and social agitaiton could not be contained forever within the confines of race and economics, culture and religion. At some point it had to spill over into the realm where all things were given their greatest expression: politics. For the South, culture dictated party allegiance....

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5. Grits and Circuses

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pp. 86-104

The 1944 Democratic national convention was one of those watershed moments that few realized at the time. The country’s two major political parties were beginning internal wars for their own hearts and souls—struggles that would determine the course not only of their particular parties, but of...

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6. The Laws of God and Alabama

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pp. 105-124

By 1944 southern politics had changed. White supremacy received a slap during the war against a foe committed to Aryan supremacy, and many at home and abroad drew the obvious parallels with the American version. Politicians coped in part by adopting a system of code words to denote subversion...

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7. Feeding the Monster: Volume I

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pp. 125-144

Hill tried to deal with the racial assault by ignoring it. He remained remote and insulated in Washington, insisting he could not come home to campaign in the midst of war. Instead he spoke by radio and simply reminded the people he had helped create sixty thousand federal jobs in Alabama. But after two...

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8. The Inexorableness of Cultural Continuities

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pp. 145-165

By 1945 the South was not yet ready to go Republican. The party was still too much identified with things Reconstruction: abolition, carpetbaggers, scalawags, black voting, federal troops. It had been seventy years since the last Union soldier rode out of Dixie, but the wounds were still too deep for...

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9. An Oasis of Liberalism?

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pp. 166-187

In 1948, Gessner McCorvey, the perennial Alabama party chair, ordered reporters to “Please get it out of your head that I am a Republican or a Republican sympathizer. I was just brought up to believe that voting a Republican ticket was something that was not done by Southern white men...

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10. Brewing Rebellion

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pp. 188-207

Violence accompanied the tough talk and legal impediments like Boswell. In February 1946 a Birmingham streetcar conductor shot a black military veteran five times for moving a Jim Crow sign. When Brighton’s police chief reached the scene, he found the vet on the ground badly wounded. He finished...

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11. They Crucified Us

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pp. 208-229

After 1945 Harry Truman concluded that segregation and racial discrimination had to go.1 Whether it was because Americans were enthralled with unreality, or because the founders set their sights for a “city on a hill” so high that aim outstripped human capability—or both—the gap between...

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12. The Conservative Revolt against Civil Rights and the National Democratic Party

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pp. 230-253

On July 17, 1948, over six thousand people jammed into Birmingham’s Municipal Auditorium for the national States’ Rights Democratic Party convention. Frank Dixon, Horace Wilkinson, and Sidney Smyer organized the event along with Mississippi’s Fielding Wright and Wallace Wright. The Magnolia....

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13. The Dixiecrat Revolt in Perspective: Meanings and “The Southern Road” to America’s New Conservatism

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pp. 254-277

So what did the Dixiecrat Revolt mean? More than one scholar has pointed to Frank Dixon, Gessner McCorvey, Donald Comer, John Temple Graves II, Marion Rushton, Marie Bankhead Owen, and other “better sorts” as representatives of a high-minded constitutional philosophy grounded in a Jeffersonian...

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14. “Let Us Not Wince Any More When We Hear the Word Republican”

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pp. 278-297

Before Dixie could move toward Republicanism—and the GOP could move toward it—there was work to be done. For this seismic shift to occur, all other routes of escape for the white South had to be sealed off. And in this, there was no better weapon than the sophistic one. Furthermore, even after the...

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Conclusion

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pp. 298-304

No region has a monopoly on racism. Nor do the individuals that live in that region . . . or on bigotry, intolerance, prejudice, or even bad taste. No region is endemically damned with racism, nor any class of people—not more so than any other. Nor is there a sectional predisposition to discrimination, intolerance...

Notes

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pp. 305-346

Select Bibliography of Primary Sources

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pp. 347-356

Index

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pp. 357-388