Anthony Badger: How Liberal Southern Politicians Lost the South

Historians in the News

Tony Badger, a British historian, is generally considered to be one of the very best historians of the American South. New Deal / New South: An Anthony J. Badger Reader (paperback, $19.95), just published by the University of Arkansas Press, includes some of 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.

He 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.

In the book Badger writes that early on he wondered if he could be "an effective historian of the South? Could I understand the South, if, unlike Quentin Compson, I had not been born there?" Noted historian William E. Leuchtenburg, author of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal and The White House Looks South, says, "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."

Anthony J. Badger is the 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 and The New Deal: The Depression Years, 1933-1940. The book includes a foreword by James C. Cobb, the B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor at the University of Georgia.
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