New Deal / New South

The twelve essays in this book, several published here for the first time, represent some of Tony Badger’s best work in his ongoing examination of how white liberal southern politicians who came to prominence in the New Deal and World War II handled the race issue when it became central to politics in the 1950s and 1960s.

Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s thought a new generation of southerners would wrestle Congress back from the conservatives. The Supreme Court thought that responsible southern leaders would lead their communities to general school desegregation after the Brown decision. John F. Kennedy believed that moderate southern leaders would, with government support, facilitate peaceful racial change. Badger’s writings demonstrate how all of these hopes were misplaced.

Badger shows time and time again that moderates did not control southern politics. Southern liberal politicians for the most part were paralyzed by their fear that ordinary southerners were all-too-aroused by the threat of integration and were reluctant to offer a coherent alternative to the conservative strategy of resistance.

Anthony J. Badger is Paul Mellon Professor of American History at Cambridge University and Master of Clare College. He is the author of a number of books, including North Carolina and the New Deal; The New Deal: The Depression Years, 1933–1940; The Making of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement (with Brian Ward); and Contesting Democracy (with Byron Shafer).

James C. Cobb is the B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor at the University of Georgia. He is the author of Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity.

“No commentator on twentieth century America, especially the American South, writes more perceptively, or more engagingly, than Tony Badger. Viewing the United States from a British perspective, he matches an extraordinary command of sources and a vivid style to a transatlantic angle of vision.”

—William E. Leuchtenburg, author of The White House Looks South

“This admirable volume, containing not only Tony Badger’s many deeply researched articles and talks about Southern political history but also a fascinating and lively autobiographical essay, is a wonderful and welcome publication.”

—James Patterson, author of Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945–1974

“Tony Badger is the leading political historian of the South between 1930 and 1970. Tony is a master essayist, capable of grand synthesis while at the same time proving that political history requires precision

—Jane Daily, author of The Politics of Race in Post-Emancipation Virginia

“A hearty feast. . . . There is coherent shape here reflecting Badger’s own persistence in the reexamination of the twentieth-century American South—politics and policy, questions of color, rights, and identity, and matters rural and agricultural.”

—Jack Kirby, author of Rural Worlds Lost: The American South, 1920-1960

“This is a very important subject, especially as scholars try to compose a multiple and comprehensive account of the civil rights movement and how it affected both blacks and whites. . . . This is a valuable collection by a distinguished scholar.”

—Steven Lawson, author of To Secure These Rights: President Harry S. Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights

• “Introduction: Southern History from the Outside”

• “Huey Long and the New Deal”

• “How Did the New Deal Change the South?”

• “The Modernization of the South: The Lament for Rural Worlds Lost”

• “Whatever Happened to Roosevelt’s New Generation of Southerners?”

• “Southerners Who Refused to Sign the Southern Manifesto”

• “The White Reaction to Brown: Arkansas, the Southern Manifesto and Massive Resistance”

• “Closet Moderates: Why White Liberals Failed, 1940–1970”

• “From Defiance to Moderation: South Carolina Governors and Racial Change”

• “’When I Took the Oath of Office, I Took No Vow of Poverty’: Race, Corruption, and Democracy in Louisiana, 1928–2000”

• “The Dilemma of Biracial Politics in the South Since 1965”

• “Southern New Dealers Confront the World: Lyndon Johnson, Albert Gore, and Vietnam”

• “The Anti-Gore Campaign of 1970” (with Michael S. Martin)