White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 2005 - History - 325 pages
15 Reviews

During the civil rights era, Atlanta thought of itself as "The City Too Busy to Hate," a rare place in the South where the races lived and thrived together. Over the course of the 1960s and 1970s, however, so many whites fled the city for the suburbs that Atlanta earned a new nickname: "The City Too Busy Moving to Hate."

In this reappraisal of racial politics in modern America, Kevin Kruse explains the causes and consequences of "white flight" in Atlanta and elsewhere. Seeking to understand segregationists on their own terms, White Flight moves past simple stereotypes to explore the meaning of white resistance. In the end, Kruse finds that segregationist resistance, which failed to stop the civil rights movement, nevertheless managed to preserve the world of segregation and even perfect it in subtler and stronger forms.

Challenging the conventional wisdom that white flight meant nothing more than a literal movement of whites to the suburbs, this book argues that it represented a more important transformation in the political ideology of those involved. In a provocative revision of postwar American history, Kruse demonstrates that traditional elements of modern conservatism, such as hostility to the federal government and faith in free enterprise, underwent important transformations during the postwar struggle over segregation. Likewise, white resistance gave birth to several new conservative causes, like the tax revolt, tuition vouchers, and privatization of public services. Tracing the journey of southern conservatives from white supremacy to white suburbia, Kruse locates the origins of modern American politics.

  

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Review: White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (Politics and Society in Twentieth Century America)

User Review  - Chad Walker - Goodreads

I wish all social/cultural history books worked like this one: an interesting (but not gimmicky) premise, argued intelligently. Strongly recommended to anyone with an interest in Atlanta/Southern ... Read full review

Review: White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (Politics and Society in Twentieth Century America)

User Review  - Cam Reid - Goodreads

An incredibly well researched and convincing historical case study. Read full review

Contents

The City Too Busy to Hate Atlanta and the Politics of Progress
19
From Radicalism to Respectability Race Residence and Segregationist Strategy
42
From Community to Individuality Race Residence and Segregationist Ideology
78
The Abandonment of Public Space Desegregation Privatization and the Tax Revolt
105
The Second Battle of Atlanta Massive Resistance and the Divided Middle Class
131
The Fight for Freedom of Association School Desegregation and White Withdrawal
161
Collapse of the Coalition Sitins and the Business Rebellion
180
The Law of the Land Federal Intervention and the Civil Rights Act
205
City Limits Urban Separatism and Suburban Secession
234
The Legacies of White Flight
259
List of Abbreviations
267
Notes
269
Index
313
Copyright

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