The Hand of the Past in Contemporary Southern Politics


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James M. Glaser

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A central story of contemporary southern politics is the emergence of Republican majorities in the region’s congressional delegation. Acknowledging the significance and scope of the political change, James M. Glaser argues that, nevertheless, strands of continuity affect the practice of campaign politics in important ways. Strong southern tradition underlies the strategies pursued by the candidates, their presentational styles, and the psychology of their campaigns.

The author offers eyewitness accounts of recent congressional campaigns in Texas, Mississippi, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In the tradition of his award-winning book Race, Campaign Politics, and the Realignment in the South, Glaser captures the “stuff” of politics—the characters, the images, the rhetoric, and the scenery. Painting a full and fascinating picture of what it is like on the campaign trail, Glaser provides wide-ranging insights into the ways that the “hand of the past” reaches into the southern present.

James M. Glaser is associate professor of political science and dean of undergraduate education for arts, sciences, and engineering at Tufts University. He is a frequent commentator on contemporary politics for the media.

"Highly insightful, scrupulously fair, and clearly written. The author’s careful observations and keen analyses of southern politicians in action give a genuine feel for the give and take of five interesting campaigns."—Earl Black, co-author, The Rise of Southern Republicans

"Few political scientists are equipped by talent and interest to follow candidates as they actually campaign, and Glaser is the best of a younger generation of political scientists who engage in this type of research. A valuable addition to the literature on congressional elections, campaigns, and southern politics."—Earl Black, co-author of The Rise of Southern Republicans

Included in Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles list, January 2006

Winner of the 2006 V.O. Key Book Award sponsored by the Southern Political Science Association
ISBN: 9780300198621
Publication Date: April 9, 2013
240 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
2 maps