The Irony of the Solid South
Democrats, Republicans, and Race, 1865-1944
University of Alabama Press 2013
Glenn Feldman is the author of The Irony of the Solid South: Democrats, Republicans, and Race, 1865-1944 (Alabama UP 2013). He is professor of history at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the author of eight other books.
Feldman’s book is a deeply provocative analysis of southern politics and political history. He explains the recurring themes in southern politics as an outgrowth of “Reconstruction Syndrome”. Themes of anti-government, anti-taxation, and deep suspicion of outsiders (African Americans, Catholics, Jews, and immigrants), run throughout the history of southern politics, and remain today. Feldman focuses much of his book on showing that the Democratic Party lost the south long before the passage of the civil rights laws in the 1960s. He tracks the shift in political allegiances back to the 1930s and even earlier.
The book challenges conventional notions and is likely to stimulate debate and controversy. It is a worthwhile read for historians of the time period and political scientists, alike.