An entirely revised and updated edition of the best-selling 2001 original
This collection of biographical essays, written by thirty-four noted historians and political scientists, chronicles the times, careers, challenges, leadership, and legacies of the fifty-seven men and one woman who have served as the state's highest elected official. The book is organized chronologically into six sections that cover Alabama’s years as a US territory and its early statehood, the 1840s through the Civil War and Reconstruction, the late nineteenth-century Bourbon era, twentieth-century progressive and wartime governors, the Civil Rights era and George Wallace’s period of influence, and recent chief executives in the post-Wallace era.
The political careers of these fifty-eight individuals reflect the story of Alabama itself. Taken together, these essays provide a unified history of the state, with its recurring themes of race, federal-state relations, tensions between north and south Alabama, economic development, taxation, and education.
Alabama Governors expertly delineates the decisions and challenges of the chief executives, their policy initiatives, their accomplishments and failures, and the lasting impact of their terms. The book also includes the true and sometimes scandalous anecdotes that pepper Alabama’s storied history. Several of the state's early governors fought duels; one killed his wife's lover. A Reconstruction era-governor barricaded himself in his office and refused to give it up when voters failed to reelect him. A twentieth-century governor, an alumnus of Yale, served as an officer in the Ku Klux Klan.
This entirely updated and revised edition includes enlarged and enhanced images of each governor. Published as Alabama prepares for its sixty-fourth gubernatorial election, Alabama Governors is certain to become a valuable resource for teachers, students, librarians, journalists, and anyone interested in the colorful history of Alabama politics.
The story of Alabama's governors has been often bizarre, occasionally inspiring, but never dull. Several of the state's early governors fought duels; one killed his wife's lover. A Reconstruction era-governor barricaded himself in his administrative office and refused to give it up when voters failed to reelect him. A 20th-century governor, an alumnus of Yale, married his first cousin and served as an officer in the Ku Klux Klan.
This collection of biographical essays, written by 34 noted historians and political scientists, chronicles the foibles and idiosyncrasies, in and out of office, of those who have served as the state's highest elected official. It also describes their courage; their meaningful policy initiatives; their accomplishments and failures; the complex factors that led to their actions or inaction; and the enormous consequences of their choices on the state's behalf.
Taken together, the essays provide a unified history of the state, with its recurring themes of race, federal-state relations, economic development, taxation, and education. Alabama Governors is certain to become an invaluable resource for teachers, students, librarians, journalists, and anyone interested in the colorful history and politics of the state.
An authoritative popular history that places the state in regional and national context
Alabama is a state full of contrasts. On the one hand, it has elected the lowest number of women to the state legislature of any state in the union; yet according to historians it produced two of the ten most important American women of the 20th century—Helen Keller and Rosa Parks. Its people are fanatically devoted to conservative religious values; yet they openly idolize tarnished football programs as the source of their heroes. Citizens who are puzzled by Alabama's maddening resistance to change or its incredibly strong sense of tradition and community will find important clues and new understanding within these pages.
Written by passionate Alabamian and accomplished historian Wayne Flynt, Alabama in the Twentieth Century offers supporting arguments for both detractors and admirers of the state. A native son who has lived, loved, taught, debated, and grieved within the state for 60 of the 100 years described, the author does not flinch from pointing out Alabama's failures, such as the woeful yoke of a 1901 state constitution, the oldest one in the nation; neither is he restrained in calling attention to the state's triumphs against great odds, such as its phenomenal number of military heroes and gifted athletes, its dazzling array of writers, folk artists, and musicians, or its haunting physical beauty despite decades of abuse.
Chapters are organized by topic—politics, the economy, education, African Americans, women, the military, sport, religion, literature, art, journalism—rather than chronologically, so the reader can digest the whole sweep of the century on a particular subject. Flynt’s writing style is engaging, descriptive, free of clutter, yet based on sound scholarship. This book offers teachers and readers alike the vast range and complexity of Alabama's triumphs and low points in a defining century.
Once the home of aboriginal inhabitants, Alabama was claimed and occupied by European nations, later to become a permanent part of the United States. A cotton and slave state for more than half of the 19th century, Alabama declared its independence and joined another nation, the Confederate States of America, for its more than four-year history. The state assumed an uneasy and uncertain place in the 19th century’s last 35 years. Its role in the 20th century has been tumultuous but painfully predictable. This comprehensive history, written in the last decade of that century, presents, explains, and interprets the major events that occurred during Alabama’s history within the larger context of the South and the nation.
Alabama: The History of a Deep South State is the first completely new comprehensive account of the state since A.B. Moore’s 1935 work. Divided into three main sections, the first concluding in 1865, the second in 1920, and the third bringing the story to the present, the book’s organization is both chronological and topical.
General readers will welcome this modern history of Alabama, which examines such traditional subjects as politics, military events, economics, and broad social movements. Of equal value are sections devoted to race, Indians, women, and the environment, as well as detailed coverage of health, education, organized labor, civil rights, and the many cultural elements—from literature to sport—that have enriched Alabama’s history. The roles of individual leaders, from politicians to creative artists, are discussed. There is as well strong emphasis on the common people, those Alabamians who have been rightly described as the “bone and sinew” of the state.
Each section of the book was written by a scholar who has devoted much of his or her professional life to the study of that period of Alabama’s past, and although the three sections reflect individual style and interpretation, the authors have collaborated closely on overall themes and organization. The result is an objective look at the colorful, often controversial, state’s past. The work relies both on primary sources and such important secondary sources as monographs, articles, and unpublished theses and dissertations to provide fresh insights, new approaches, and new interpretations.
A new and up-to-date edition of Alabama’s history to celebrate the state’s bicentennial
Alabama: The History of a Deep South State, Bicentennial Edition is a comprehensive narrative account of the state from its earliest days to the present. This edition, updated to celebrate the state’s bicentennial year, offers a detailed survey of the colorful, dramatic, and often controversial turns in Alabama’s evolution. Organized chronologically and divided into three main sections—the first concluding in 1865, the second in 1920, and the third bringing the story to the present—makes clear and interprets the major events that occurred during Alabama’s history within the larger context of the South and the nation.
Once the home of aboriginal inhabitants, Alabama was claimed and occupied by a number of European nations prior to becoming a permanent part of the United States in 1819. A cotton and slave state for more than half of the nineteenth century, Alabama seceded in 1861 to join the Confederate States of America, and occupied an uneasy and uncertain place in America’s post-Civil War landscape. Alabama’s role in the twentieth century has been equally tumultuous and dramatic.
General readers as well as scholars will welcome this up-to-date and scrupulously researched history of Alabama, which examines such traditional subjects as politics, military history, economics, race, and class. It contains essential accounts devoted to Native Americans, women, and the environment, as well as detailed coverage of health, education, organized labor, civil rights, and the many cultural developments, from literature to sport, that have enriched Alabama’s history. The stories of individual leaders, from politicians to creative artists, are also highlighted. A key facet of this landmark historical narrative is the strong emphasis placed on the common everyday people of Alabama, those who have been rightly described as the “bone and sinew” of the state.
This timely examination of Alabama’s severely criticized state constitution will serve as an indispensable guide for legislators and citizens considering reform of the outdated document.
Alabama’s present constitution, adopted in 1901, is widely viewed as the source of many, if not most, of the state’s historic difficulties and inequities. Chief among these is a poorly funded school system, an imbalanced tax system that favors special business interests, legislated racism, and unchecked urban sprawl. Many citizens believe that, after 100 years of overburdening amendments and confusing addendums, the constitution urgently needs rewriting.
With this book, Bailey Thomson has assembled the best scholarship on the constitution, its history, and its implications for the future. Historian Harvey H. Jackson III details the degree to which the 1901 document was drafted as a legal tool to ensure white supremacy at the expense of poor whites and blacks, while Joe A. Sumners illustrates how the constitution ties the hands of elected civic leaders by handing authority for local decisions to state government in Montgomery. James W. Williams Jr. explores the impact of the state constitution on the beleaguered tax system and the three principal “revenue crises” it has engendered. Thomson’s own contribution explains how, in contrast to the previous failed attempts for constitutional change by past governors who appealed to their fellow power brokers, the current reform movement arose from the grassroots level.
As citizens and politicians in Alabama review the 1901 constitution for revision, as they navigate the pitfalls and opportunities inherent in change, it is incumbent that they inform themselves adequately on the controversies that have swirled around the constitution since its adoption. The future of Alabama’s government will depend upon it, as will the fortunes of Alabama’s business interests and the well-being of every citizen in the state for years to come.
Reconstruction politics and race relations between freed blacks and the white establishment in Perry County, Alabama
In his fascinating, in-depth study, Bertis D. English analyzes why Perry County, situated in the heart of a violence-prone subregion of Alabama, enjoyed more peaceful race relations and less bloodshed than several neighboring counties. Choosing an atypical locality as central to his study, English raises questions about factors affecting ethnic disturbances in the Black Belt and elsewhere in Alabama. He also uses Perry County, which he deems an anomalous county, to caution against the tendency of some scholars to make sweeping generalizations about entire regions and subregions.
English contends Perry County was a relatively tranquil place with a set of extremely influential African American businessmen, clergy, politicians, and other leaders during Reconstruction. Together with egalitarian or opportunistic white citizens, they headed a successful campaign for black agency and biracial cooperation that few counties in Alabama matched. English also illustrates how a significant number of educational institutions, a high density of African American residents, and an unusually organized and informed African American population were essential factors in forming Perry County’s character. He likewise traces the development of religion in Perry, the nineteenth-century Baptist capital of Alabama, and the emergence of civil rights in Perry, an underemphasized center of activism during the twentieth century.
This well-researched and comprehensive volume illuminates Perry County’s history from the various perspectives of its black, interracial, and white inhabitants, amplifying their own voices in a novel way. The narrative includes rich personal details about ordinary and affluent people, both free and unfree, creating a distinctive resource that will be useful to scholars as well as a reference that will serve the needs of students and general readers.
This collection of essays--which also includes a previously unpublished narrative by an original settler-- examines the fascinating experiences of southern Confederate exiles in Brazil and their continuing legacy.
During the late 1860s Southerners dissatisfied with the outcome of the Civil War and fearful of the extent of Union reprisals migrated to Brazil to build a new life for themselves. The Confederados--the great majority from Alabama and Texas--began a century-long adventure to establish a new homeland and to preserve important elements of their Old South heritage.
For more than a hundred years, descendants of the original settlers have largely maintained their language and customs while contributing to Brazil's economy and society. Here, scholars from many fields examine every aspect of this unique mingling of cultures within the larger historical and cultural context.
This collection of essays on the social and political history of the modern South consider the region’s poor, racial mores and race relations, economic opportunity, Protestant activism, political coalitions and interest groups, social justice, and progressive reform.
History and Hope in the Heart of Dixie illuminates the dual role of historian and public advocate in modern America. In a time when the nation’s eyes have been focused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita onto the vulnerability and dire condition of poor people in the South, the applicability of research, teaching, and activism for this voiceless element seems all the more relevant.
Responding to the example of Wayne Flynt, whose fierce devotion to his state of Alabama and its region has not blinded his recognition of the inequities and despair that define southern life for so many, the scholars assembled in this work present contributions to the themes Flynt so passionately explored in his own work. Two seasoned observers of southern history and culture—John Shelton Reed and Dan T. Carter—offer assessments of Flynt’s influence on the history profession as a whole and on the region of the South in particular.
This historical memoir by the widely recognized scholar, Wayne Flynt, chronicles the inner workings of his academic career at Samford and Auburn Universities, as well as his many contributions to the general history of Alabama. Flynt has traveled the state and the South lecturing and teaching both lay and academic groups, calling on his detailed knowledge of both the history and power structures in Alabama to reveal uncomfortable truths wherever he finds them, whether in academic institutions that fall short of their stated missions, in government and industry leaders who seek and hold power by playing to the fears and prejudices of the public, or in religious groups who abandon their original missions and instead seek financial and emotional comfort in lip service only.
In doing so he has not only energized those who think the State of Alabama can and must do better, but also has earned the enmity of those who prosper, profit, and prevaricate for their own selfish ends. Nevertheless, Flynt utilizes a lifetime of learning and reflection to voice the conscience of his community. Keeping the Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives tells the story of his life and his courageous battles against an indifferent or hostile hierarchy with modesty and honesty. In doing so he tells us how Alabama institutions really are manipulated and, more importantly, why we should care.
First published in 1989 by The University of Alabama Press, Poor but Proud was met with critical acclaim and awarded the 1990 Lillian Smith prize in nonfiction, as well as being named a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book. This new paperback version will make the classic work available for general readers, bookstores, and classrooms.
Wayne Flynt addresses the life experiences of poor whites through their occupations, society, and culture. He explores their family structure, music, religion, folklore, crafts, and politics and describes their attempts to resolve their own problems through labor unions and political movements. He reveals that many of our stereotypes about poor whites are wildly exaggerated; few were derelicts or "white trash." Even though racism, emotionalism, and a penchant for violence were possible among poor whites, most bore their troubles with dignity and self-respect - working hard to eventually lift themselves out of poverty.
The phrase "poor but proud" aptly describes many white Alabamians who settled the state and persisted through time. During the antebellum years, poor whites developed a distinctive culture on the periphery of the cotton belt. As herdsmen, subsistence farmers, mill workers, and miners, they flourished in a society more renowned for its two-class division of planters and slaves. The New Deal era and the advent of World War II broke the long downward spiral of poverty and afforded new opportunities for upward mobility.
Recovering the Margins of American Religious History, a celebration of the life and work of David Edwin Harrell Jr., brings together essays from Harrell’s colleagues, peers, and students that explore his impact and legacy in the field of American religious studies. Raised in an upper-class family in mid-twentieth-century Jacksonville, Florida, Harrell’s membership in the Church of Christ helped establish his sense of self as a spiritual outsider. This early exclusion from the Christian mainstream laid a foundation for Harrell’s pioneering studies of marginalized faiths, including the first stirrings of neo-fundamentalism and the diminishingly influential social gospel movement.
Harrell’s connections with these religious movements point to his deeper ongoing concerns with class, gender, and race as core factors behind religious institutions, and he has unblinkingly investigated a wide range of social dynamics. Combining an extensive knowledge of and long-standing passion for American religious history with a comprehensive understanding of the developing world, Harrell’s research and writings over his lifetime have produced compelling portraits of the American religious underclass, an increased integration of religion into the narrative of world history, and innovative new comparative studies in the healing and charismatic movements of the developing world.
Scott C. Billingsley / Wayne Flynt / James R. Goff Jr. / John C. Hardin / Samuel S. Hill / Richard T. Hughes / Beth Barton Schweiger / Grant Wacker / B. Dwain Waldrep / Charles Reagan Wilson
Southern Religion and Christian Diversity in the Twentieth Century is a collection of fifteen essays by award-winning scholar Wayne Flynt that explores and reveals the often-forgotten religious heterogeneity of the American South.
Throughout its dramatic history, the American South has wrestled with issues such as poverty, social change, labor reform, civil rights, and party politics, and Flynt’s writing reaffirms religion as the lens through which southerners understand and attempt to answer these contentious questions. In Southern Religion and Christian Diversity in the Twentieth Century, however, Flynt gently but persuasively dispels the myth—comforting to some and dismaying to others—of religion in the South as an inert cairn of reactionary conservatism.
Flynt introduces a wealth of stories about individuals and communities of faith whose beliefs and actions map the South’s web of theological fault lines. In the early twentieth century, North Carolinian pastor Alexander McKelway became a relentless crusader against the common practice of child labor. In 1972, Rev. Dr. Ruby Kile, in a time of segregated churches led by men, took the helm of the eight-member Powderly Faith Deliverance Center in Jefferson County, Alabama and built the fledgling group into a robust congregation with more than 700 black and white worshippers. Flynt also examines the role of religion in numerous pivotal court cases, such as the US Supreme Court school prayer case Engel v. Vitale, whose majority opinion was penned by Justice Hugo Black, an Alabamian. These fascinating case studies and many more illuminate a religious landscape of far more varied texture and complexity than is commonly believed.
Southern Religion and Christian Diversity in the Twentieth Century offers much to readers and scholars interested in the South, religion, and theology. Writing with his hallmark wit, warmth, and erudition, Flynt’s Southern Religion and Christian Diversity in the Twentieth Century is a vital record of gospel-inspired southerners whose stories revivify sclerotic assumptions about the narrow conformity of southern Christians.
Beginning early in the 19th century, the American missionary movement made slow headway in China. Alabamians became part of that small beachhead. After 1900 both the money and personnel rapidly expanded, peaking in the early 1920s. By the 1930s many American denominations became confused and divided over the appropriateness of the missionary endeavor. Secular American intellectuals began to criticize missionaries as meddling do-gooders trying to impose American Evangelicalism on a proud, ancient culture.
By examining the lives of 47 Alabama missionaries who served in China between 1850 and 1950, Flynt and Berkley reach a different conclusion. Although Alabama missionaries initially fit the negative description of Americans trying to superimpose their own values and beliefs on "heathen," they quickly learned to respect Chinese civilization. The result was a new synthesis, neither entirely southern nor entirely Chinese. Although previous works focus on the failure of Christianity to change China, this book focuses on the degree to which their service in China changed Alabama missionaries. And the change was profound.
In their consideration of 47 missionaries from a single state--their call to missions, preparation for service in China, living, working, contacts back home, cultural clashes, political views, internal conflicts, and gender relations--the authors suggest that the efforts by Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian missionaries from Alabama were not the failure judged by many historians. In fact, the seeds sown in the hundred years before the Communist revolution in 1950 seem to be reaping a rich harvest in the declining years of the 20th century, when the number of Chinese Christians is estimated by some to be as high as one hundred million.