Nut Country: Right-wing Dallas And The Birth Of The Southern Strategy

Paperback | July 19, 2016

byEdward H. Miller

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On the morning of November 22, 1963, President Kennedy told Jackie as they started for Dallas, “We’re heading into nut country today.” That day’s events ultimately obscured and revealed just how right he was: Oswald was a lone gunman, but the city that surrounded him was full of people who hated Kennedy and everything he stood for, led by a powerful group of ultraconservatives who would eventually remake the Republican party in their own image.

In Nut Country, Edward H. Miller tells the story of that transformation, showing how a group of influential far-right businessmen, religious leaders, and political operatives developed a potent mix of hardline anticommunism, biblical literalism, and racism to generate a violent populism—and widespread power. Though those figures were seen as extreme in Texas and elsewhere, mainstream Republicans nonetheless found themselves forced to make alliances, or tack to the right on topics like segregation. As racial resentment came to fuel the national Republican party’s divisive but effective “Southern Strategy,” the power of the extreme conservatives rooted in Texas only grew.

Drawing direct lines from Dallas to DC, Miller's captivating history offers a fresh understanding of the rise of the new Republican Party and the apocalyptic language, conspiracy theories, and ideological rigidity that remain potent features of our politics today.

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On the morning of November 22, 1963, President Kennedy told Jackie as they started for Dallas, “We’re heading into nut country today.” That day’s events ultimately obscured and revealed just how right he was: Oswald was a lone gunman, but the city that surrounded him was full of people who hated Kennedy and everything he stood for, led...

Edward H. Miller is adjunct professor of history at Northeastern University in Boston.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:July 19, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022642121X

ISBN - 13:9780226421216

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction

1          Big D
2          Party Women and Organization Men
3          Heralds of Apocalypse
4          Whistling Dixie
5          A Man on Horseback
6          Architects and Artisans of the Southern Strategy

Epilogue: Revival
Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"Phoenix, Orange County, and even bucolic Sharon, Connecticut can all lay claim to being foundational places in the making of modern conservatism. Edward Miller moves our sights to the Lone Star state. He makes a bold and convincing claim that if you want to understand the conservative movement, we have to reckon with Dallas, Texas: 'Nut Country.' Featuring a memorable cast of characters--H. L. Hunt and General Edwin Walker not the least among them--Miller's book reveals how conservatives used racial politics in Dallas to change the fortunes, forever after, of the American right and the Republican Party."