The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics: The Personalities, Elections, and Events That Shaped Modern North Carolina
How can a state be represented by Jesse Helms and John Edwards at the same time? Journalist Rob Christensen answers that question and navigates a century of political history in North Carolina, one of the most vibrant and competitive southern states, where neither conservatives nor liberals, Democrats nor Republicans, have been able to rest easy. It is this climate of comp...more
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by University of North Carolina Press
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The author,Rob Christensen, has been covering North Carolina politics for thirty-five years as a reporter for the Raleigh "News Observer". He delves into the seeming contradiction of a state which
can elect one of the most conservative senators,Jesse Helms,and yet which
could also elect a populist like John Edwards. He seems to clarify this
seemingly illogical combination by explaining that while the personal
values of the citizens are quite conservative,being part of the Bible
Belt, their aspirati...more
Pretty interesting read, especially for someone who grew up in the state, studying its political history in the public schools and then moved away for 10 years not to hear anything about Tar Heel politics (and to understand what an anomaly NC politics really is after living in an very narrow political area for 10 years). I really enjoyed the older history (early/mid 20th century). It was quite interesting to read about the politicians whose names are on all the building I grew up seeing in Morga...more
What we have here is a disappointing hagiography of poltroons. The author is clearly worshipful of not just utter mountebanks like Max Gardner and Kerr Scott, but even of terrorists like Charles Aycock and Furnifold Simmons. Christensen's also astonishingly accepting of the various political "machines" over the last century, excusing or ignoring their excesses. Not what I expected from someone purporting to be a "journalist."
Extremely well-written, informative and entertaining survey of Tar Heel politics. The author, a journalist for the Raleigh News & Observer, succinctly communicates trends he has both observed and researched. "The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics" places NC's current political landscape into its historical context. Well worth reading.
Very good overview of a century of politics in North Carolina. I love Christensen's style of writing -- while providing details, the reader never gets lost in them. Christensen crafts a tale of the ins and outs of politics in the Tar Heel State which is sprinkled with insights and antidotes of some of the characters who make up the story. Highly recommend to anyone interested in North Carolina's history.
Great survey of Carolina politics since 1900+. I enjoyed this and learned a lot (I read it for a book club, otherwise would have only ever enjoyed the author's N&O columns but not thought to read his book). I took away from this the notion that the paradox of NC politics is race and also that we consistently elect Republicans to represent us in DC but Democrats to govern the state. Hmmm.