Voter Mobilization and the Politics of Race: The South and Universal Suffrage 1952-1984

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This study of the expansion of the Southern electorate between 1952 and 1984 is reminiscent of William R. Keech's The Impact of Negro Voting in its use of empirical data and in its rigorous analysis that punctures myths and conventional wisdom about the consequences of increased voter participation...Despite its methodological sophistication and pervasive quantitative analysis, the text is sufficiently comprehensible for its arguments and findings to be of interest to general readers. Chioce Stanley analyzes the accepted understanding of what happened in the South, which is that increased black political participation triggered racial counter-mobilization by whites. He finds this understanding to be inadequate. He contends that easier registration did facilitate black participation, yet racial countermobilization had almost no importance for increased white participation. Using presidential election survey data from 1952 to 1984, Stanley establishes why Southern turnout, both white and black, rose. He demonstrates how partisan competition, socioeconomic conditions, media usage, and other factors facilitated registration and voting. Indivuduals studying state and local government, civil rights, Southern politics, or political parties and elections will surely gain important information and invaluable insight from this book.