The South’s New Racial Politics presents an original thesis about how blacks and whites in today’s South engage in a politics that is qualitatively different from the past. Glen Browder—as practitioner and scholar—argues that politicians of the two races now practice an open, sophisticated, biracial game that, arguably, means progress; but it also can bring out old-fashioned, cynical, and racist Southern ways. The lesson to be learned from this interpretative analysis is that the Southern political system, while still constrained by racial problems, is more functional than ever before. Southerners perhaps can now move forward in dealing with their legacy of hard history.
A former politician at the state and national levels, Browder (emeritus American democracy, Jacksonville State U. Alabama) offers his personal perspective on what he characterizes as ironic and un-visionary accommodations that both blacks and whites have embraced in the 21st century. He describes the race game of Southern political history, the rise and fall of Southern democracy, a new racial system for the 21st century, and hard history and contemporary Southern politics.
[Browder’s] insights as a political scientist and an elected official are worth the reader’s effort.
—Michael Thomason, Mobile Press-Register
Glen Browder’s work is informed by his academic perspective and by his experience as a politician and public official. It’s an unusual combination and it makes for insight that one does not get much from the political science discipline. Anyone interested in understanding contemporary Southern political dynamics should start with him.
—James Glaser, dean of undergraduate education, professor of political science, Tufts University
Dr. Glen Browder’s credentials in Alabama politics are as impressive as his unique new work The South’s New Racial Politics: Inside the Race Game of Southern History
. The former United States congressman gives a firsthand account of the South’s most enduring and troubling issue and offers an original thesis.
—First Draft Online
Race has always been the central issue in Southern politics, and the election of an African American president—while a giant leap forward—doesn’t change this underlying truth. There is no better guide to the South’s racial history and contemporary reality than Glen Browder, who combines the reflective perspective of an academic with the practical expertise of a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Old South meets New South in Browder’s book, and in that meeting we get a glimpse of the future South.
—Dr. Larry Sabato, director, University of Virginia Center for Politics
[Browder] claims an insider's perspective on the types of compromises that happen behind closed doors in Southern statehouses. [He] traces the history of racial politics from the time preceding the civil rights era when one-party white supremacy was a foregone conclusion.
In dealing with this topic, Browder brings to the table the very rare combination of insights stemming from his lengthy record as an academic and political practitioner. The interface between race and politics in the American South is a complex one that, on occasion, has been simplified by writers with either an ideological bias or limited insight. The topic certainly deserves additional treatment since it ultimately undergirds the region’s longstanding distinctiveness.
—Dr. Jess Brown, Athens State University
I will be recommending [this] for my family, fellow professors, political science majors in my American Government class, and even students in my interdisciplinary “American Experience” course, showing how Browder’s book is written for a wide audience ... easy to get through. In addition to the insightful observations about the region, the text provides an important launching point for what should be a national dialogue on the subject of race. Rather than remain the national whipping post on the subject of intolerance, perhaps the South and its recent examples could serve as the basis for that dialogue, and teach, rather than be taught.
—John Tures, National Political Science Review
Glen Browder’s analysis of biracial leadership in the modern-day South is a significant contribution to those seeking to understand the relationship between blacks and whites in the political arena. It provides key insight into how black and white leaders, once at polar extremes of the social and political spectrum, have forged a working relationship that attempts to provide public policies that will benefit their respective constituencies. He does not gloss over the division of the Old South, nor does he paint a picture that all is well in the New South. He lays out a thesis that biracial accommodation exists and that the South is better off as a result of it.
—Artemesia Stanberry, assistant professor, North Carolina Central University