320 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 9 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Salesman for Segregation
James J. Kilpatrick was a nationally known television personality, journalist, and columnist whose conservative voice rang out loudly and widely through the twentieth century. As editor of the Richmond News Leader, writer for the National Review, debater in the "Point/Counterpoint" portion of CBS's 60 Minutes, and supporter of conservative political candidates like Barry Goldwater, Kilpatrick had many platforms for his race-based brand of southern conservatism. In James J. Kilpatrick: Salesman for Segregation, William Hustwit delivers a comprehensive study of Kilpatrick's importance to the civil rights era and explores how his protracted resistance to both desegregation and egalitarianism culminated in an enduring form of conservatism that revealed a nation's unease with racial change.
Relying on archival sources, including Kilpatrick's personal papers, Hustwit provides an invaluable look at what Gunnar Myrdal called the race problem in the "white mind" at the intersection of the postwar conservative and civil rights movements. Growing out of a painful family history and strongly conservative political cultures, Kilpatrick's personal values and self-interested opportunism contributed to America's ongoing struggles with race and reform.
"Traces the intellectual journey of James J. Kilpatrick from regional southern journalist to one of the most prominent conservative commentators of the latter half of the 20th century . . . . It represents an important aspect of the Civil Rights movement."
"An engrossing new biography. . . . [Hustwit] has done a first-rate job of providing a much-needed biography of one of the South's most important journalists of the 20th century."
--Raleigh News & Observer
"Offers a new perspective on one of the South's leading segregationists."
"Recommended. Specialized libraries, upper-division undergraduates and above."
"This book would be an important source for scholars studying the civil rights movement, southern newspaper history during the mid-twentieth century, or the origins of the radical conservative wing of the twenty-first-century Republican Party."
"In sparkling and accessible prose, Hustwit provides James Kilpatrick with an intelligent, fair assessment. An important contribution to our understanding of modern conservatism in the South."
--William A. Link, University of Florida
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