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Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 by

Scholar and politician Glen Browder’s new book,The South’s New Racial Politics: Inside the Race Game of Southern History, is garnering national attention for its insight into modern race relations in southern politics.

In a recent article, The Associated Press discusses Browder’s life and work, lauding the book’s take on the current state of southern politics.

From the article:

Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia and a frequent contributor on TV talk shows, has read an advance copy and calls Browder’s new book “excellent.”

“What makes this book worthwhile is the combination of the perspectives of the scholar and the politician. It’s a rare combination,” he said.

Sabato said Browder’s book is important because race has been an issue since the founding of America, but few want to tackle it.

Read the full Associated Press article at the USA Today website.

Browder also recently spoke with Alabama’s Thicket magazine about his controversial work.¬†From the Thicket article:

“The change we see in the South today was not produced by the Civil Rights Movement alone,” says Browder. “Throughout the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s there were conscious efforts by white and black politicians and activists to work together to change the Southern political system. To a significant extent, this was done by stealth, through quiet, practical biracial politics that achieved relatively progressive ends. As a result, blacks and whites in the South now engage politically in a way that is qualitatively different than in the past. The race game is still played, but the terms have changed, and mostly for the better.”

Read the full article at the Thicket website.

The South’s New Racial Politics presents an original thesis about how blacks and whites in today’s South engage in a politics that is qualitatively different from the past. Browder, as practitioner and scholar, argues that politicians of the two races now practice an open, sophisticated, biracial game that, arguably, means progress; but it also can bring out old-fashioned, cynical, and racist Southern ways. The lesson to be learned from this interpretative analysis is that the Southern political system, while still constrained by racial problems, is more functional than ever before. Southerners perhaps can now move forward in dealing with their legacy of hard history.

Dr. Glen Browder is professor emeritus of American Democracy at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. He served as U.S. congressman, Alabama secretary of state, and Alabama legislator.

The South’s New Racial Politics is available directly from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

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