Stealth Reconstruction

An Untold Story of Racial Politics in Recent Southern History

Glen Browder

With Artemesia Stanberry

Title Details

Pages: 352

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 06/01/2010

ISBN: 9-781-5883-8239-9

List Price: $24.95


NewSouth Books

Related Subjects


Stealth Reconstruction

An Untold Story of Racial Politics in Recent Southern History

Glen Browder

With Artemesia Stanberry

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  • Description
  • Reviews

America seems to have little sense of how the civil rights movement actually played into Southern politics over the remainder of the twentieth century. The common vision is a monolithic struggle between heroes and villains, depicted literally and figuratively in black and white. Unfortunately, this conception provides an incomplete explanation for subsequent progress in the Southern political system.

This book reveals that, amid all the heroic history of that time, there is a fascinating story of “stealth reconstruction”—i.e., the unheroic, quiet, practical, biracial work of some white politicians and black leaders, a story untold and unknown until now.

I find the characterization of stealth reconstruction provocative, informative, and realistic; and I agree that quiet, effective, biracial cooperation was a cornerstone of much of the heralded and hard-won racial transitions in Southern attitudes and politics. Without it, the courageous and well-recorded acts of the modern civil rights movement would have had a much more difficult course.

—Dr. Richard Arrington, former mayor, Birmingham, Alabama

Browder’s book raises many interesting questions ... for congressional observers. And it seems all the more timely as another group of moderate Southern Democrats faces serious political challenges this year.

—National Journal

In this book, Browder and Stanberry offer a detailed and insightful discussion of the crucial behind-the-scenes negotiations among African American and white leaders that were necessary to developing the alliances and policies that would promote the civil rights agenda even after public and media attention to the civil rights movement had begun to fade. In telling the less public aspects of the story, Browder and Stanberry advance our understanding of race and the transformation of Southern (and national) politics in significant ways. For casual readers and professional scholars alike, this book is thorough, engaging, and informative.

—Robert Steed, professor of political science, The Citadel

Glen Browder and Artemesia Stanberry’s Stealth Reconstruction is an innovative and original contribution to our understanding of Democratic success in the post-voting rights South. Written from the inside by a former member of Congress, the book shows how the use of “stealth” strategies and tactics enabled white Democrats to construct successful biracial coalitions. It is a valuable and welcome addition to the study of modern Southern politics and history.

—Merle Black, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Politics and Government at Emory University

Stealth Reconstruction does more than just fill in the gaps. The author’s authoritative research and Browder’s first-person account of his political career, which serves as a case study, represent a noteworthy contribution to civil rights scholarship.

—Roll Call: The Newspaper of Capitol Hill Since 1955

Stealth Reconstruction offers a unique thesis that demands further review by historians of the South and contemporary political scholars.

—Journal of Southern History

Stealth Reconstruction is the fullest explanation/expression of authors Glen Browder’s and Artemesia Stanberry’s thesis describing how the South went from the confrontation of civil rights movement days to the largely peaceful politics of today. This volume is detailed and deals extensively with developments outside Alabama. [Dr. Stanberry] contributes a powerful, if restrained, black voice. As in Browder’s earlier book on this topic, the story is worth the trouble. If you want a road map of the South from movement days to the dawn of the 21st century, you will not do better than Stealth Reconstruction.

—Michael Thomason, Mobile Press-Register

Glen Browder and Artemesia Stanberry combine the insights of practicing politicians with the rigor of academics to offer a unique perspective on the transformation of Southern politics from racial confrontation to cooperation. Their analysis highlights the unheralded contribution of white politicians and black leaders who quietly reached across the racial divide and led their region into the mainstream of national politics.

—Charles Bullock, Richard B. Russell Professor of Political Science at University of Georgia

After the heady days of heroes and villains of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, it was left to the ordinary local officials to integrate the local political and leadership rosters. The white officials were walking a politically perilous line; they could be exposed as helping black people and run out of office by their old racist cronies. Black officials could be targeted by hate groups like the KKK. Historians may have ignored them, but their stories need to be told as well.

—Dave “Doc” Kirby, Book Bit, WTBF-AM/FM

About the Author/Editor

Glen Browder (Author)
DR. GLEN BROWDER is Professor Emeritus of American Democracy at Jacksonville State University in Alabama; he served as US Congressman, Alabama’s Secretary of State, and Alabama State Legislator.

Artemesia Stanberry (With)
Dr. Artemesia Stanberry is Assistant Professor of Political Science at North Carolina Central University. She has also worked for several members of Congress.