Southern Politics at the Time of V. O. Key

Alexander P. Lamis

in The Oxford Handbook of Southern Politics

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195381948
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Southern Politics at the Time of V. O. Key

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Politics in the American South was poorly understood prior to the publication of a book in August 1949, Southern Politics in State and Nation, which offered a penetrating analysis of the region's strange one-party system that then existed in all of the eleven states of the former Confederacy. It was written by V. O. Key Jr., a gifted scholar. Much of the current understanding of the politics of Dixie during the first half of the twentieth century derives from this extraordinary research project. This article examines the fascinating tale of how Southern Politics came to be written and considers the book's major findings. Key's project involved a host of unusually talented people who came together at the very moment when the South was starting to undergo the dramatic political transformation. The article first looks at the project's origin and method of operation and then turns to a detailed examination of the book's major findings.

Keywords: American South; one-party system; V. O. Key Jr.; Southern Politics; political transformation; research project

Article.  9641 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics

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