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The Politics of Rage

George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics

second edition

600 pages / 6.00 x 9.25 inches / 40 halftones, 1 line drawing

Southern History

  Paperback / 9780807125977 / February 2000

“Carter’s life of Wallace is, by long odds, the finest of those written about the Alabamian-who-would-be-president; indeed, it is one of the finest political biographies of this or any other year. . . . A superb social and political history of Alabama and the Deep South in the 1950s and 1960s.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review

Combining biography with regional and national history, Dan T. Carter chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of George Wallace, a populist who abandoned his ideals to become a national symbol of racism, and later begged for forgiveness. In The Politics of Rage—an integral source for the three-hour documentaryGeorge Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire, to air in April 2000 as part of PBS’s prestigious series The American Experience—Carter argues persuasively that the four-time Alabama governor and four-time presidential candidate helped to establish the conservative political movement that put Ronald Reagan in the White House in 1980 and gave Newt Gingrich and the Republicans control of Congress in 1994. In this second edition, Carter updates Wallace’s story with a look at the politician’s death and the nation’s reaction to it and gives a summary of his own sense of the legacy of “the most important loser in twentieth-century American politics.”

Dan T. Carter is Educational Foundation Professor at the University of South Carolina. He is the author of The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservativism, and the Transformation of American Politics; When the War Was Over: The Failure of Self-Reconstruction in the South, 1865 -1867; and many other books. The 1970 publication of his award-winning Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South inspired a 1976 docudrama that rekindled controversy and interest in the case.

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