The Long Southern Strategy: How Chasing White Voters in the South Changed American Politics


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.4 X 1.5 inches | 2.2 pounds

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About the Author

Angie Maxwell is the Director of the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society, an associate professor of political science, and holder of the Diane D. Blair Endowed Professorship in Southern Studies at the University of Arkansas. She is the co-editor of several volumes and the author of the The Indicted South: Public Criticism, Southern Inferiority, and the Politics of Whiteness, which won the Southern Political Science Association's 2015 V. O. Key Award for best book in Southern Politics. Todd Shields is the Dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of political science at the University of Arkansas. He is the co-author or co-editor of several books, including The Persuadable Voter: Wedge Issues in Presidential Campaigns, which won the American Political Science Association's 2009 Robert E. Lane Award for the best book in Political Psychology.


"Based on extensive research, including qualitative and quantitative scholarship (with survey data included), the book is filled with insights into recent history and the current state of politics in the South and the nation. Although challenging, it largely avoids disciplinary jargon and therefore is accessible to a broader audience. Highly relevant, and deserving of a broad readership. ... Summing up: Highly recommended" -- C. K. Piehl, CHOICE

"Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields demonstrate in their fine The Long Southern Strategy just how the party of Lincoln became the party of the South. Their book permits us to better understand how the southern-oriented views of identifiers of that party blended with those of the North to create a truly national political opinion, in ways in which a northern and southern Democratic majority never did." -- John H. Aldrich, Duke University, Perspectives on Politics

"This volume provides scholars of the South's partisan realignment with revealing data depicting the centrality of white southern identity to the GOP's repeated efforts to win the region ... scholars seeking insight into white southern voters' identity -- and how identity translates into behavior at the polls -- will find much to mine in this volume." -- Katherine Rye Jewell, North Carolina Historical Review

"In The Long Southern Strategy, Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields demonstrate that this strategy was not, as political scientists might be tempted to think, just about electoral politics. Instead, to fully understand the history (and contemporary implications) of the southern strategy, one must look at the interdependence of racism, religion and patriarchy. ... Maxwell and Shields encourage the reader to see the intricacies of these interwoven threads while avoiding unsubstantiatedgeneralisations. Facts are the driver in this comprehensive analysis." -- Angelia R. Wilson, Times Higher Education Review

"The text itself is sharply written and delivers an unequivocal message accusing the Republican Party of skillfully manipulating the people who live in the 11 states of the old Confederacy." -- Curtis Wilkie, The Washington Post

"The Southern Strategy has long been defined narrowly, as the Republican appeal to southern whites who recoiled from the civil rights revolution and its allies in the national Democratic Party as a result. But as Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields make clear in this provocative and powerful study, white backlash was only part of the approach. A must-read for anyone seeking to make sense of Southern politics, The Long Southern Strategy shows how tensions over race, religion and gender relations worked to remake the region, and to remake the Republican Party as well." -- Kevin M. Kruse, co-author of Fault Lines: A History of the United States since 1974

With The Long Southern Strategy, Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields widen the aperture to reveal the ways in which what we think of as a time-limited, race-focused effort to court southern voters in the 1970s and 80s, was in fact a strategy carried in on two vitally important and unexplored wings-gender anxiety and religious fervor-and carefully packaged in uniquely southern flavors. This deeply-researched, broadly drawn argument about the ways in which the Republican Party rebranded itself to appeal to and inflame those anxieties will surely become crucial to our understanding of both the long history of voting and organizing in the American south, and to reckoning with our current politicalÂclimate-that remains trapped under the unfinished fallout from the Civil War." -- Dahlia Lithwick, Senior Legal Correspondent, Slate

"You can't understand American politics unless you understand the politics of the South. And, as Maxwell and Shields prove, you can't understand Southern politics until you understand the racist, evangelical, and gender elements of the GOP's Long Southern Strategy-which spread far beyond the South and helped make Donald Trump our first Confederate president." -- Bill Press, Radio Talk Show Host