From George Wallace to Newt Gingrich: Race in the Conservative Counterrevolution, 1963-1994

Dan T. Carter, Author Louisiana State University Press $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8071-2118-4
In his 1995 biography of Wallace, The Politics of Rage, LSU professor Carter called the former Alabama governor, ""the most influential loser in twentieth century American politics."" Wallace saw in America's white suburbs a racism that, while perhaps not as outspoken as that in the South, could still be exploited. The three lectures that form the bulk of this book were given in 1991 when Carter was working on The Politics of Rage, so some of the argument will sound familiar. But it is short and focused, so readers who weren't willing to devote over 500 pages to Wallace can discover his lasting effect on American politics. If Wallace took the issue of race to the rest of the nation, Nixon embedded it in a set of social issues and attitudes: ""The trick lay in sympathizing with and appealing to the fears of angry whites without appearing to become an extremist and driving away moderates-or, as Ehrlichman described the process, to present a position on crime, education, or public housing in such a way that a voter could `avoid admitting to himself that he was attracted by a racist appeal.'"" In the 1980s, Republicans were able to embed encoded racial issues (quotas and welfare dependency) in their anti-government campaigning. While Carter has supplemented his original lectures with another chapter that includes the Republican victories of 1994, it addresses Newt Gingrich without mentioning one man who has done some cribbing from the Republican playbook-Bill Clinton. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1996
Release date: 11/01/1996
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 152 pages - 978-0-8071-2366-9
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