Strom Thurmond's America: A History


Product Details

$22.00  $20.24
Hill & Wang
Publish Date
5.58 X 8.23 X 1.08 inches | 0.81 pounds

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About the Author

Joseph Crespino is a professor of history at Emory University. He is the author of In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution and the coeditor of The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.


"The most authoritative study on Thurmond to date." --Frank Rich, New York Magazine

"A deft portrait." --The New York Times Book Review

"Insightful . . . masterfully ties together complex historical strands . . . Crespino doesn't make Thurmond likable, but that's not his goal. His is loftier and more difficult: to get beneath the surface of an influential politician in order to shed light on our times." --Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"[O]utstanding . . . Crespino presents the right blend of narrative, scholarly analysis, and restrained outrage." --The Washington Monthly

"[A] fine new biography . . . fascinating as political drama." --The Barnes & Noble Review

"[An] impressive biography . . . Crespino's portrait reveals a flawed, egotistical, unapologetic, headstrong man whose views helped give birth to the contemporary Right and whose legacy continues to influence the GOP." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Joseph Crespino argues convincingly [that] Thurmond's political impact reached far beyond the nostalgic Old South . . . Crespino's lucid, illuminating book reveals an outsize political personage whose complexities often eluded supporters and antagonists alike." --American History

"Engaging . . . offer[s] a far more authoritative portrait than Jack Bass and Marilyn W. Thompson's Strom or Jeffrey K. Smith's Dixiecrat . . . Strongly recommended for anyone interested in 20th-century American political history or biography." --Library Journal

"A highly useful and timely companion in an election cycle marked by the resurgence of the controversies of Thurmond's day." --Kirkus Reviews

"No other book is likely to offer a more insightful understanding of both Strom Thurmond the man and the age in which he lived. This is a thoroughly terrific and important work, for it makes clear the continuing impact of Thurmond's legacy on our politics today." --Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Team of Rivals

"Joseph Crespino's Strom Thurmond's America is a historical biography that makes much of recent U.S. history more understandable. It is essential reading for anyone interested in post-1945 American politics." --Robert Dallek, author of An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963

"Joseph Crespino brilliantly captures the hypocrisy of a southern society that could mold Strom Thurmond into, simultaneously, an audacious white separatist and a flagrant race-mixer willing to abandon his own black daughter. Crespino also properly positions Thurmond not as an outlier or a relic of a distant era of Dixiecrat racism, but as the architect and harbinger of the extremist, racially tinged politics that would reshape the Republican Party into the twenty-first century." --Douglas A. Blackmon, former chief of the Wall Street Journal's Atlanta bureau and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Slavery by Another Name

"This pathbreaking biography reveals a Strom Thurmond whose influence stretched far beyond the racist precincts of Dixie. He was, as Joseph Crespino brilliantly shows, a pioneer of many of the conservative themes we now take for granted: stalwart anticommunism, opposition to labor unions, support for 'law and order, ' and the promotion of 'family values.' Crespino combines the incisiveness of a fine scholar with the literary talent of a gifted storyteller. When I finished the book, I almost felt like cheering!" --Michael Kazin, author of American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation

"Strom Thurmond has become one of those antic men people hear about but can't quite believe existed--the racist demagogue with the secret biracial daughter who made self-interest into a public art form. Because Thurmond was such a gifted opportunist, it's difficult to say what he really believed, leaving the resourceful historian Joseph Crespino to do the near impossible. Strom Thurmond's America is a reasonable portrait of a reactionary that serves as a valuable prism through which to examine the ways politicians encourage social divisions to consolidate power." --Nicholas Dawidoff, author of The Crowd Sounds Happy and The Catcher Was a Spy

"Strom Thurmond's America is at once a captivating portrait of an important national figure and a nuanced and provocative rethinking of recent American political history. Joseph Crespino handles Thurmond's personal story with great aplomb and persuasively reframes the late senator as a pivotal character in modern American politics." --Bruce Schulman, author of The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics

"Joseph Crespino offers a provocative account of Strom Thurmond's life and the ways in which some conservatives used race to build a national coalition. He makes a compelling and original case that, rather than a throwback to an earlier era in politics, Thurmond was one of the architects of the modern Republican Party, a sophisticated political strategist who played on the fears and anxieties of the American electorate." --Julian E. Zelizer, author of Jimmy Carter and Governing America