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Blue Dixie: Awakening the South's Democratic Majority

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A powerful case for a new Southern strategy for the Democrats, from an award-winning reporter and native Southerner

In 2000 and 2004, the Democratic Party decided not to challenge George W. Bush in the South, a disastrous strategy that effectively handed Bush more than half of the electoral votes he needed to win the White House. As the 2008 election draws near, the Democrats have a historic opportunity to build a new progressive majority, but they cannot do so without the South.

In Blue Dixie, Bob Moser argues that the Democratic Party has been blinded by outmoded prejudices about the region. Moser, the chief political reporter for The Nation, shows that a volatile mix of unprecedented economic prosperity and abject poverty are reshaping the Southern vote. With evangelical churches preaching a more expansive social gospel and a massive left-leaning demographic shift to African Americans, Latinos, and the young, the South is poised for a Democratic revival. By returning to a bold, unflinching message of economic fairness, the Democrats can win in the nations largest, most diverse region and redeem themselves as a true party of the people.

Keenly observed and deeply grounded in contemporary Southern politics, Blue Dixie reveals the changing face of American politics to the South itself and to the rest of the nation.

Bob Moser is an award-winning political correspondent for The Nation. He has chronicled Southern politics for nearly two decades for publications ranging from Rolling Stone to The Independent. A native of North Carolina, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.

In 2000 and 2004, the Democratic Party decided not to challenge George W. Bush in the South, a disastrous strategy that effectively handed Bush more than half of the electoral votes he needed to win the White House. As the 2008 election draws near, the Democrats have a historic opportunity to build a new progressive majority, but they cannot do so without the South.

In Blue Dixie, Bob Moser argues that the Democratic Party has been blinded by outmoded prejudices about the region. Moser, the chief political reporter for The Nation, shows that a mix of unprecedented economic prosperity and abject poverty are reshaping the Southern vote. With evangelical churches preaching a more expansive social gospel and a massive left-leaning demographic shift to African Americans, Latinos, and the young, the South is poised for a Democratic revival. By returning to a bold, unflinching message of economic fairness, the Democrats can win in the nations largest, most diverse region and redeem themselves as a true party of the people.

“Through his revelatory reporting, Bob Moser illuminates the evolving political landscape of a new South that Democrats must engageand respectif theyre going to build a new progressive majority. Blue Dixie makes the most compelling case Ive read for a why Democrats must not relinquish the South but, instead, compete hard for it s votes, hearts, and minds with a bracing message of economic fairness.”Katrina Vanden Heuvel, author of The Dictionary of Republicanisms

"Ultimately, electoral politics do not come down to education but to winning votes, whether voters are well informed or not. Journalist Bob Moser has written an incisive book about campaign strategy circa 2008. In Blue Dixie: Awakening the South's Democratic Majority Moser decries the failure of Democratic strategists to understand Southern voters. As a result, he says, the party has lost chances to carry the region in presidential elections, ceding it to the Republicans even though the majority of voters identify as Democrats. Moser, a North Carolina native who lives in Brooklyn and writes about politics for The Nation, is relentless in his indictment. He opens the book as a pre-teen in 1972, when he persuaded his Democratic-leaning father to drive him to the Greensboro, N.C., airport for a rally featuring then-President Richard M. Nixon, who was seeking re-election. In retrospect, Moser writes that Nixon, abetted by Jesse Helms, near election as a Republican US senator from North Carolina, orchestrated 'one of the most brazen acts of political thievery in American history.' From the end of the Civil War, the Democrats had owned the South. The year of Moser's birth, the Republicans did not hold even one Southern governorship or US Senate seat. By appealing to Southern whites put off by Democrats with long hair and liberal views that seemed to favor communist nations, mandates for racial integration, and opposition to prayer in schools, the Republicans were winning votes. (Southern blacks for the most part continued voting Democratic.) 'It was a neat trick by the GOP,' Moser comments, 'stepping into the void created when the Democrats became the party of social, not economic, liberalism, and postwar prosperity lifted millions of Southerners into the great suburban middle class. Republicans were adapting the old "us versus them" populisma sword long wielded against themto "flip" white Southerners and create their own new electoral stronghold. They weren't just stealing Democrats, they were stealing populism.' While reluctantly praising the savvy of Republican strategists, Moser devotes more space to excoriating their Democratic counterparts, journalists, and punditssome of them Southernerswho should have known better than to cede the 'Solid South' in national elections. The sting is particularly keen given that Southerners continue to elect Democrats for many state offices. Given voting blocs of blacks, Hispanics, and white progressives, the South is populated by millions of citizens who would rather vote for a Democrat than a Republican, Moser says. The 'Democrats can no longer afford to accept the myth of the red-state South. They leave the region uncontested at the peril of the party's future.'"Steve Weinberg, The Boston Globe

"Suppose you're a Democratic candidate for president, running more or less as a liberal, locked in a pretty tight election. With two months to go in the campaign you are trailing in every Southern state. Shouldn't you at that point cut your losses and invest time and resources elsewhere, in key swing states you might actually win? Conventional political wisdomboth among political scientists and many top Democratic strategists, including the ones who ran John Kerry's campaign in 2004says yes. John Kerry, who early in 2004 stated that ‘everyone makes the mistake of looking south, essentially stopped campaigning in the South, pulling campaign staff out of North Carolina and Virginia in late summer. In much of the South, as vice presidential candidate John Edwards later noted with chagrin, there was no evidence that fall that the Democrats were even contesting the White House. Kerry instead poured everything into Ohio, to no avail. But the soundness of Kerry's strategic choice has been defended by some prominent scholars and pundits, most notably political scientist Thomas Schaller of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. In his 2006 book Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South (recently re-issued as a paperback with a new afterword), Schaller makes two principal arguments for a non-Southern Democratic strategy . . . Schaller's arguments have won respect from many national punditsbut appalled many progressives, liberals and populists in the South. Representing those voices is Bob Moser in his important and entertaining new book Blue Dixie: Awakening the South's Democratic Majority. Moser argues that the whistling past Dixie strategy is flawed in tactical terms, profoundly misguided in strategic terms, and indefensible in moral terms. Moser, who is a political correspondent for The Nation and former editor-in-chief of the Independent Weekly, presents his case through a series of insightful reports on victorious Democratic candidates in the South in the 2006 elections, along with analysis of Kerry's 2004 campaign and coverage of the 2008 Democratic primary race through early spring . . . Moser thus presents strong tactical and strategic arguments for a blue-Dixie strategy. But the fuel for his sharp arguments and reporting comes from an underlying moral conviction: that regardless of tactical and strategic considerations, it is simply immoral for the national Democratic Party to stop competing in the South."Thad Williamson, Independent Weekly (North Carolina)

“Through his revelatory reporting, Bob Moser illuminates the evolving political landscape of a new South that Democrats must engageand respectif theyre going to build a new progressive majority. Blue Dixie makes the most compelling case Ive read for a why Democrats must not relinquish the South but, instead, compete hard for it s votes, hearts, and minds with a bracing message of economic fairness.”Katrina Vanden Heuvel, author of The Dictionary of Republicanisms

“This arresting analysis from Moser, political correspondent for the Nation, debunks the belief in an ‘enduring Republican South, which he terms ‘the single most destructive myth of contemporary politics. The author wades into the ‘swirl of stereotypes to challenge the conventional wisdom of many Democratic strategists, that the South is a Republican stronghold. Moser examines polls and voting trends that belie the idea of a conservative, fundamentalist, inherently racist voting bloc, looking instead at the history of the South as a breeding ground for progressivism and populist economic policies before proposing that the Democrats should stop trying to be ‘the party of “Republicans Lite” in order to win over Dixie. Moser details Jim Webb's and Barack Obama's successes in the South, praises Howard Dean's ‘fifty-state strategy for re-energizing the Democratic Party in the region and gives insightful suggestions for how the party can continue the trend. Well-written, well-researched and perfectly timed with this year's election cycle, this fascinating read is highly recommended to anyone interested in unraveling political fact from fiction and detecting the myriad complicated relationships that knit a nation together.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Review:

"This arresting analysis from Moser, political correspondent for the Nation, debunks the belief in an 'enduring Republican South,' which he terms 'the single most destructive myth of contemporary politics.' The author wades into the 'swirl of stereotypes' to challenge the conventional wisdom of many Democratic strategists, that the South is a Republican stronghold. Moser examines polls and voting trends that belie the idea of a conservative, fundamentalist, inherently racist voting bloc, looking instead at the history of the South as a breeding ground for progressivism and populist economic policies before proposing that the Democrats should stop trying to be 'the party of 'Republicans Lite' ' in order to win over Dixie. Moser details Jim Webb's and Barack Obama's successes in the South, praises Howard Dean's 'fifty-state strategy' for re-energizing the Democratic Party in the region and gives insightful suggestions for how the party can continue the trend. Well-written, well-researched and perfectly timed with this year's election cycle, this fascinating read is highly recommended to anyone interested in unraveling political fact from fiction and detecting the myriad complicated relationships that knit a nation together." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Keenly observed and deeply grounded in contemporary Southern politics, "Blue Dixie" reveals the changing face of American politics in the South itself and its impact on the rest of the nation.

Synopsis:

A powerful case for a new Southern strategy for the Democrats, from an award-winning reporter and native Southerner

In 2000 and 2004, the Democratic Party decided not to challenge George W. Bush in the South, a disastrous strategy that effectively handed Bush more than half of the electoral votes he needed to win the White House. As the 2008 election draws near, the Democrats have a historic opportunity to build a new progressive majority, but they cannot do so without the South.

In Blue Dixie, Bob Moser argues that the Democratic Party has been blinded by outmoded prejudices about the region. Moser, the chief political reporter for The Nation, shows that a volatile mix of unprecedented economic prosperity and abject poverty are reshaping the Southern vote. With evangelical churches preaching a more expansive social gospel and a massive left-leaning demographic shift to African Americans, Latinos, and the young, the South is poised for a Democratic revival. By returning to a bold, unflinching message of economic fairness, the Democrats can win in the nation's largest, most diverse region and redeem themselves as a true party of the people.

Keenly observed and deeply grounded in contemporary Southern politics, Blue Dixie reveals the changing face of American politics to the South itself and to the rest of the nation.

Bob Moser is an award-winning political correspondent for The Nation. He has chronicled Southern politics for nearly two decades for publications ranging from Rolling Stone to The Independent. A native of North Carolina, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.

In 2000 and 2004, the Democratic Party decided not to challenge George W. Bush in the South, a disastrous strategy that effectively handed Bush more than half of the electoral votes he needed to win the White House. As the 2008 election draws near, the Democrats have a historic opportunity to build a new progressive majority, but they cannot do so without the South.

In Blue Dixie, Bob Moser argues that the Democratic Party has been blinded by outmoded prejudices about the region. Moser, the chief political reporter for The Nation, shows that a mix of unprecedented economic prosperity and abject poverty are reshaping the Southern vote. With evangelical churches preaching a more expansive social gospel and a massive left-leaning demographic shift to African Americans, Latinos, and the young, the South is poised for a Democratic revival. By returning to a bold, unflinching message of economic fairness, the Democrats can win in the nation's largest, most diverse region and redeem themselves as a true party of the people. Through his revelatory reporting, Bob Moser illuminates the evolving political landscape of a new South that Democrats must engage--and respect--if they're going to build a new progressive majority. Blue Dixie makes the most compelling case I've read for a why Democrats must not relinquish the South but, instead, compete hard for it s votes, hearts, and minds with a bracing message of economic fairness.--Katrina Vanden Heuvel, author of The Dictionary of Republicanisms

Ultimately, electoral politics do not come down to education but to winning votes, whether voters are well informed or not. Journalist Bob Moser has written an incisive book about campaign strategy circa 2008. In Blue Dixie: Awakening the South's Democratic Majority Moser decries the failure of Democratic strategists to understand Southern voters. As a result, he says, the party has lost chances to carry the region in presidential elections, ceding it to the Republicans even though the majority of voters identify as Democrats. Moser, a North Carolina native who lives in Brooklyn and writes about politics for The Nation, is relentless in his indictment. He opens the book as a pre-teen in 1972, when he persuaded his Democratic-leaning father to drive him to the Greensboro, N.C., airport for a rally featuring then-President Richard M. Nixon, who was seeking re-election. In retrospect, Moser writes that Nixon, abetted by Jesse Helms, near election as a Republican US senator from North Carolina, orchestrated 'one of the most brazen acts of political thievery in American history.' From the end of the Civil War, the Democrats had owned the South. The year of Moser's birth, the Republicans did not hold even one Southern governorship or US Senate seat. By appealing to Southern whites put off by Democrats with long hair and liberal views that seemed to favor communist nations, mandates for racial integration, and opposition to prayer in schools, the Republicans were winning votes. (Southern blacks for the most part continued voting Democratic.) 'It was a neat trick by the GOP, ' Moser comments, 'stepping into the void created when the Democrats became the party of social, not economic, liberalism, and postwar prosperity lifted millions of Southerners into the great suburban middle class. Republicans were adapting the old us versus them populism--a sword long wielded against them--to flip white Southerners and create their own new electoral stronghold. They weren't just stealing Democrats, they were stealing populism.' While reluctantly praising the savvy of Republican strategists, Moser devotes more space to excoriating their Democratic counterparts, journalists, and pundits--some of them Southerners--who should have known better than to cede the 'Solid South' in national elections. The sting is particularly keen given that Southerners continue to elect Democrats for many state offices. Given voting blocs of blacks, Hispanics, and white progressives, the South is populated by millions of citizens who would rather vote for a Democrat than a Republican, Moser says. The 'Democrats can no longer afford to accept the myth of the red-state South. They leave the region uncontested at the peril of the party's future.'--Steve Weinberg, The Boston Globe

Suppose you're a Democratic candidate for president, runn

Synopsis:

“A wake-up call . . . Mosers argument is cogent.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In Blue Dixie, Bob Moser, an award-winning political reporter for The Nation, argues that the Democratic Party needs to jettison outmoded prejudices about the South if it wants to build a lasting national majority.

With evangelical churches preaching a more expansive social gospel and a massive left-leaning demographic shift to African Americans, Latinos, and the young, the South is poised for a Democratic revival. Moser shows how a volatile mix of unprecedented economic prosperity and abject poverty are reshaping the Southern vote. By returning to a bold, unflinching message of economic fairness, the Democrats can win in the nations largest, most diverse region and redeem themselves as a true party of the people.

Keenly observed and deeply grounded in contemporary Southern politics, and with a new afterword covering the ramifications of the 2008 election, Blue Dixie reveals the changing state of American politics.

About the Author

Bob Moser is an award-winning political correspondent for The Nation and the editor of the muckraking Texas Observer. He has chronicled Southern politics for nearly two decades for publications ranging from Rolling Stone to The Independent Weekly. A native of North Carolina, he lives in Austin, Texas.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805087710
Subtitle:
Awakening the South's Democratic Majority
Author:
Moser, Bob
Publisher:
Holt Paperbacks
Subject:
Non-Classifiable
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
POL032000
Subject:
Political Process - Political Parties
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Conservatism & Liberalism
Subject:
Political culture
Subject:
Politics and government
Subject:
Democratic Party (U.S.)
Subject:
Political culture -- Southern States.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090427
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Product details 304 pages Times Books - English 9780805087710 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This arresting analysis from Moser, political correspondent for the Nation, debunks the belief in an 'enduring Republican South,' which he terms 'the single most destructive myth of contemporary politics.' The author wades into the 'swirl of stereotypes' to challenge the conventional wisdom of many Democratic strategists, that the South is a Republican stronghold. Moser examines polls and voting trends that belie the idea of a conservative, fundamentalist, inherently racist voting bloc, looking instead at the history of the South as a breeding ground for progressivism and populist economic policies before proposing that the Democrats should stop trying to be 'the party of 'Republicans Lite' ' in order to win over Dixie. Moser details Jim Webb's and Barack Obama's successes in the South, praises Howard Dean's 'fifty-state strategy' for re-energizing the Democratic Party in the region and gives insightful suggestions for how the party can continue the trend. Well-written, well-researched and perfectly timed with this year's election cycle, this fascinating read is highly recommended to anyone interested in unraveling political fact from fiction and detecting the myriad complicated relationships that knit a nation together." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Keenly observed and deeply grounded in contemporary Southern politics, "Blue Dixie" reveals the changing face of American politics in the South itself and its impact on the rest of the nation.
"Synopsis" by , A powerful case for a new Southern strategy for the Democrats, from an award-winning reporter and native Southerner

In 2000 and 2004, the Democratic Party decided not to challenge George W. Bush in the South, a disastrous strategy that effectively handed Bush more than half of the electoral votes he needed to win the White House. As the 2008 election draws near, the Democrats have a historic opportunity to build a new progressive majority, but they cannot do so without the South.

In Blue Dixie, Bob Moser argues that the Democratic Party has been blinded by outmoded prejudices about the region. Moser, the chief political reporter for The Nation, shows that a volatile mix of unprecedented economic prosperity and abject poverty are reshaping the Southern vote. With evangelical churches preaching a more expansive social gospel and a massive left-leaning demographic shift to African Americans, Latinos, and the young, the South is poised for a Democratic revival. By returning to a bold, unflinching message of economic fairness, the Democrats can win in the nation's largest, most diverse region and redeem themselves as a true party of the people.

Keenly observed and deeply grounded in contemporary Southern politics, Blue Dixie reveals the changing face of American politics to the South itself and to the rest of the nation.

Bob Moser is an award-winning political correspondent for The Nation. He has chronicled Southern politics for nearly two decades for publications ranging from Rolling Stone to The Independent. A native of North Carolina, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.

In 2000 and 2004, the Democratic Party decided not to challenge George W. Bush in the South, a disastrous strategy that effectively handed Bush more than half of the electoral votes he needed to win the White House. As the 2008 election draws near, the Democrats have a historic opportunity to build a new progressive majority, but they cannot do so without the South.

In Blue Dixie, Bob Moser argues that the Democratic Party has been blinded by outmoded prejudices about the region. Moser, the chief political reporter for The Nation, shows that a mix of unprecedented economic prosperity and abject poverty are reshaping the Southern vote. With evangelical churches preaching a more expansive social gospel and a massive left-leaning demographic shift to African Americans, Latinos, and the young, the South is poised for a Democratic revival. By returning to a bold, unflinching message of economic fairness, the Democrats can win in the nation's largest, most diverse region and redeem themselves as a true party of the people. Through his revelatory reporting, Bob Moser illuminates the evolving political landscape of a new South that Democrats must engage--and respect--if they're going to build a new progressive majority. Blue Dixie makes the most compelling case I've read for a why Democrats must not relinquish the South but, instead, compete hard for it s votes, hearts, and minds with a bracing message of economic fairness.--Katrina Vanden Heuvel, author of The Dictionary of Republicanisms

Ultimately, electoral politics do not come down to education but to winning votes, whether voters are well informed or not. Journalist Bob Moser has written an incisive book about campaign strategy circa 2008. In Blue Dixie: Awakening the South's Democratic Majority Moser decries the failure of Democratic strategists to understand Southern voters. As a result, he says, the party has lost chances to carry the region in presidential elections, ceding it to the Republicans even though the majority of voters identify as Democrats. Moser, a North Carolina native who lives in Brooklyn and writes about politics for The Nation, is relentless in his indictment. He opens the book as a pre-teen in 1972, when he persuaded his Democratic-leaning father to drive him to the Greensboro, N.C., airport for a rally featuring then-President Richard M. Nixon, who was seeking re-election. In retrospect, Moser writes that Nixon, abetted by Jesse Helms, near election as a Republican US senator from North Carolina, orchestrated 'one of the most brazen acts of political thievery in American history.' From the end of the Civil War, the Democrats had owned the South. The year of Moser's birth, the Republicans did not hold even one Southern governorship or US Senate seat. By appealing to Southern whites put off by Democrats with long hair and liberal views that seemed to favor communist nations, mandates for racial integration, and opposition to prayer in schools, the Republicans were winning votes. (Southern blacks for the most part continued voting Democratic.) 'It was a neat trick by the GOP, ' Moser comments, 'stepping into the void created when the Democrats became the party of social, not economic, liberalism, and postwar prosperity lifted millions of Southerners into the great suburban middle class. Republicans were adapting the old us versus them populism--a sword long wielded against them--to flip white Southerners and create their own new electoral stronghold. They weren't just stealing Democrats, they were stealing populism.' While reluctantly praising the savvy of Republican strategists, Moser devotes more space to excoriating their Democratic counterparts, journalists, and pundits--some of them Southerners--who should have known better than to cede the 'Solid South' in national elections. The sting is particularly keen given that Southerners continue to elect Democrats for many state offices. Given voting blocs of blacks, Hispanics, and white progressives, the South is populated by millions of citizens who would rather vote for a Democrat than a Republican, Moser says. The 'Democrats can no longer afford to accept the myth of the red-state South. They leave the region uncontested at the peril of the party's future.'--Steve Weinberg, The Boston Globe

Suppose you're a Democratic candidate for president, runn

"Synopsis" by , “A wake-up call . . . Mosers argument is cogent.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In Blue Dixie, Bob Moser, an award-winning political reporter for The Nation, argues that the Democratic Party needs to jettison outmoded prejudices about the South if it wants to build a lasting national majority.

With evangelical churches preaching a more expansive social gospel and a massive left-leaning demographic shift to African Americans, Latinos, and the young, the South is poised for a Democratic revival. Moser shows how a volatile mix of unprecedented economic prosperity and abject poverty are reshaping the Southern vote. By returning to a bold, unflinching message of economic fairness, the Democrats can win in the nations largest, most diverse region and redeem themselves as a true party of the people.

Keenly observed and deeply grounded in contemporary Southern politics, and with a new afterword covering the ramifications of the 2008 election, Blue Dixie reveals the changing state of American politics.

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