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Race and Politics in North Carolina, 1872-1901: The Black Second [Book Review]

Kousser, J. Morgan (1982) Race and Politics in North Carolina, 1872-1901: The Black Second [Book Review]. Journal of Southern History, 48 (1). pp. 123-125. ISSN 2325-6893.

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In The Origins of the New South and The Strange Career of Jim Crow C. Vann Woodward suggested that the years between Reconstruction and the imposition of Jim Crow and disfranchisement laws around the turn of the century harbored "forgotten alternatives" in politics and race relations. No golden age, this was a paradoxical, transitional era in which corruption, intimidation, and brutality coexisted with instances of interracial cooperation, black assertiveness, and white accommodation. In this revised University of Chicago doctoral dissertation on the Second Congressional District in North Carolina, the creation of an 1872 Democratic gerrymander aimed at concentrating the Republican vote so as to maximize the number of safe Democratic seats in the national Congress, Eric Anderson primarily deepens, rather than revises notions of the era's politics. Recounting the prenomination and election campaigns for Congress over nearly three decades, as well as detailing local struggle for office in the counties that made up the district, Anderson puts somewhat more stress than Woodward did on the power of black politicos and the success of their "awkward yet viable" partnership (p. x) with white Republicans, but generally confirms Woodward's thesis. Well written and thoroughly researched in newspapers and manuscript collections, usually careful in its judgments, offering as full pictures as we are likely to get of numerous local politicians of both races, Anderson's is a solid work which, along with other scholarly investigations, should help to bury the outmoded notions that a "solid South," a white Republican betrayal of blacks, and Negro passivity immediately succeeded Hayes's election.

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Additional Information:© 1982 Southern Historical Association. Book review of: Race and Politics in North Carolina, 1872-1901: The Black Second. By Eric Anderson. Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1981. ISBN: 9780807106853
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Official Citation: Race and Politics in North Carolina, 1872-1901: The Black Second by Eric Anderson Review by: J. Morgan Kousser The Journal of Southern History , Vol. 48, No. 1 (Feb., 1982), pp. 123-125 Published by: Southern Historical Association Article Stable URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:41819
Deposited By: SWORD User
Deposited On:09 Oct 2013 18:37
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 05:52

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