The Southernization of America: A Story of Democracy in the Balance
Essays by Frye Gaillard and Cynthia Tucker
NewSouth Books, February 2022
In 1974 John Egerton published his seminal work, The Americanization of Dixie. Pulitzer Prize-winning University of Southern Alabama Journalist-in-Residence Cynthia Tucker and Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator and University of Southern Alabama Writer in Residence Frye Gaillard carry Egerton’s thesis forward in The Southernization of America. They dive deeper, examining the morphing of the Southern strategy of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan into the Republican Party of today, the racial backlash against President Obama, family separation on our southern border, the rise of the Christian right, the white supremacist riots in Charlottesville, the death of George Floyd, and the attack on our nation’s capitol. They find hope in the South too, a legacy rooted in the civil rights years that might ultimately lead the nation on the path to redemption. Tucker and Gaillard bring a multiracial perspective and years of political reporting to bear on a critical moment in American history, a time of racial reckoning and democracy under siege.