Originally published in 1975. This is a history of southern political life since the New Deal and World War II, encompassing a crucial epoch: an attempted Second Reconstruction of the South. The authors focus on the electoral response to candidates and issues. The authors contend that, despite the nationalizing and homogenizing forces that eroded much of the South's distinctiveness during the postwar years, the region's historical legacy perpetuated its distinctive patterns of cultural and political life. Further, the authors contend that despite the virtual destruction of the South's four inherited institutions of political sectionalism during the years of the Second Reconstruction—disenfranchisement, malapportionment, a one-party system, and de jure racial segregation—the new southern politics maintained a deep racial division that has militated against class coalitions, especially across racial lines, and has permitted government by relatively insulated elites.
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