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This is a ""Choice"" Outstanding Academic Title. This study challenges decades of scholarship on the roots of disfranchisement in America, arguing that historians have misunderstood the role of race and class in this antidemocratic movement. In 1901, Alabama adopted a new state constitution intended to strip its black citizens of their voting rights - the only state to put such a measure to a popular vote by referendum. Glenn Feldman looks at the causes and consequences of this landmark event to revise the misleadingly neat view that many historians have held. Drawing on court documents, voting statistics, civil rights and labor records, and many other sources, Feldman shows that the racist appeals of Alabama's white planters, industrialists, and other conservatives motivated poor whites in far greater numbers and for more-complex reasons than was previously argued. ""The Disfranchisement Myth"" has much to say about the tendency of 'plain' people in the South - then and now - to allow prejudice and fear to distract them from the pursuit of their rational political interests.
Glenn Feldman is professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and author or editor of numerous books.
Release date Australia
June 15th, 2010
Country of Publication
University of Georgia Press
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