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Strom Thurmond's America
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Strom Thurmond's America

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  20 reviews
“Do not forget that ‘skill and integrity’ are the keys to success.” This was the last piece of advice on a list Will Thurmond gave his son Strom in 1923. The younger Thurmond would keep the words in mind throughout his long and colorful career as one of the South’s last race-baiting demagogues and as a national power broker who, along with Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Hill and Wang
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James Trent
The value of this book lies in Crespino's linkage of Strom Thurmond's racism to his classism. Opposed to racial equality and justice, Thurmond also denounced labor unions, worker protection and safety legislation, and Great Society programs, while never failing to advocate for military spending, big business subsidies, and deregulation. In his role as precursor to post-war conservatism, Thurmond paved the way for Goldwater, Nixon, Reagan, the Bushes, and diminution of American liberalism. Crespi ...more
Jim Blessing
This was an excellent book that discussed the long career of Strom Thurmond. My assessment of this man is that he was a scoundrel of epic proportion!
I was born and raised in reliably Republican Indiana, yet when I reached the Age of Reason, I left the fold and became, gasp, a liberal Democrat. I wasn't disowned, since my parents were moderate Republicans and very understanding.

Add to that the fact that I was the first group of 18 year olds to be able to vote and that I voted AGAINST Richard Nixon and you have my political profile.

While politics is not all-consuming to me, this fall I spent a lot of hours campaigning for a candidate. And I al
Christopher Saunders
This work is only a half-biography of the segregationist Democrat-turned-Republican elder statesman. The other half examines Thurmond's impact on American politics, eg. channeling racism into concerns about welfare and nebulously defined "law and order." Like many politicians, Thurmond's an interesting character for his contradictions: a racist who fathered a black child, an avid New Dealer who became a conservative icon. But Crespino proves superficial in exploring his broader cultural impact. ...more
Excellent biography of Ol' Strom. It's not black and white or hagiography. One thinks of his strict segregation beliefs and reactionary politics and his biracial daughter, but Strom was once a New Dealer and a huge supporter of Roosevelt, i.e., Big government. This changed after WWII; starting with the armed forces the U.S. slowly began integrating. Crespino's argument is that Strom is not some symbol from a bygone era; he is one of the founders of the New Right whose politicians share Strom's p ...more
Jack Townsend
An interesting read of an interesting person.

I am a South Carolinian and worked as an intern for Senator Thurmond in 1966. I was far distant from him on my politics, but I learned that he was a good man. Like all of us, not without flaws, but his good qualities outweighed his bad and that's as much as most of us can hope for.
The biographical part of Crespino's book is fair-to-middling and lacks many of the details that makes a very good-to-excellent biography make you feel like you are actually living with the subject ... not that I would have ever wanted to live with Thurmond, but ...
However, what makes this book a fine read is Crespino's analysis of Thurmond's pioneering role in the pro-business/anti-labor/fundamentalist Christian/anti-everyone-but-white-men attitudes that have become the mantra of one of the two
Arbogast Holmskragga
Excellent book, even when dealing with the obvious bias of the writer. Ending a paragraph with phrases such as "It is obvious that..." or "And like others..." when the proof of the assertions to come is contained in neither the previous paragraphs or the sentences to come just shows that the author expects to be taken as gospel.

However, when dealing with the purely factual, this book is compelling, well-researched, and an excellent reminder that Evil does not come in the form of the mustache-twi
Joseph Crespino writes very well in a very readable style, making his subject come to life. I learned a great deal about Strom Thurmond and the time and place in which he lived. The book has given me a better understanding of the modern South and of the Republican Party as it was reconstituted as a southern political institution. I did not gain any greater sympathy for Thurmond or his southern colleagues, but I have a greater insight into the current state of politics in America.
Thurmond was not a good man, and the author doesn't let him off the hook for his sins. This is a man who was vehemently opposed to Civil rights, yet secretly fathered a child with an African-American woman. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in Southern politics and history, race relations in the American South, or the development of the political Right in the 20th century.

(Note: I won this book from a goodreads giveaway contest.)
This book gave me good insight to Strom and politics of South Carolina over the last 70 years or so. Being a new resident to the Palmetto State, his telling of Strom's story helped me understand a great deal of today's political environment not only in SC, but throughout the South.
Very interesting. Like anyone, Crespino has a political slant, and I think it causes him to overreach at times, but this is still helpful in understanding Thurmond's role in 20th century American politics. Well-written, too.
Jon Taber
I won this book through goodreads. It's a very informative book on Strom, and a good reminder of how racist much of the country was not so long ago.
Ben Machen
Excellent books about an important time in the South. The beginnings are before my time but I definitely remember the later years.
Jon D
Thorough and insightful. I would have liked to see some kind of overarching analysis or summary.
Donated this first reads book to a colleague who loves political books. He will provide a review.
Thomas A Wiebe

A gift from my brother-in-law, Scottie.

Source: Wiebe Library.
Perfect if you want to read every single detail of the man's political career.
Aaron Meyer
A really great read. This man was at the center of alot of history.
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