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Blue Dixie: Awakening the South's Democratic Majority Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 19, 2008

ISBN-10: 0805087710 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Times Books; 1st edition (August 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805087710
  • ASIN: B0046LUQJE
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,656,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This arresting analysis from Moser, political correspondent for the Nation, debunks the belief in an enduring Republican South, which he terms the single most destructive myth of contemporary politics. The author wades into the swirl of stereotypes to challenge the conventional wisdom of many Democratic strategists, that the South is a Republican stronghold. Moser examines polls and voting trends that belie the idea of a conservative, fundamentalist, inherently racist voting bloc, looking instead at the history of the South as a breeding ground for progressivism and populist economic policies before proposing that the Democrats should stop trying to be the party of 'Republicans Lite' in order to win over Dixie. Moser details Jim Webb's and Barack Obama's successes in the South, praises Howard Dean's fifty-state strategy for re-energizing the Democratic Party in the region and gives insightful suggestions for how the party can continue the trend. Well-written, well-researched and perfectly timed with this year's election cycle, this fascinating read is highly recommended to anyone interested in unraveling political fact from fiction and detecting the myriad complicated relationships that knit a nation together. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"An incisive book about campaign strategy…  Moser decries the failure of Democratic strategists to understand Southern voters [and] the sting is particularly keen."—The Boston Globe

"A wake-up call… Moser’s argument is cogent."—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Moser convince[es] Democrats that the South is a lot more complicated and interesting that they have made it out to be."—The New York Times Book Revew

"Conventional wisdom holds that the South is a solid GOP bloc… Moser explodes this myth."—Charleston City Paper

"Moser [represents] many progressives, liberals and populists in the South… in his important and entertaining new book Blue Dixie."—Independent Weekly (North Carolina)

"Moser argues that Democrats have lost elections when they don’t compete for the South… The solution is a message of economic fairness."—New York Post

"Well-written, well-researched and perfectly timed with this year’s election cycle, this fascinating read is highly recommended to anyone interested in unraveling political fact from fiction and detecting the myriad complicated relationships that knit a nation together."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Moser… argues that Democrats in the rest of the country should put aside their stereotype of the South."—In These Times

"Moser argues that Democrats can take back the South as the distance between haves and have-nots widens and a left-leaning demographic emerges."—Library Journal

"Blue Dixie makes the most compelling case I’ve read for why Democrats must not relinquish the South and, instead, compete hard for its votes, hearts, and minds with a bracing message of economic fairness!"—Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor, The Nation


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Ciardiello on September 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Unlike Thomas Schaller, who argued in his book, Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South, that the Democrats should form a new national consensus without the South, Bob Moser makes the exact opposite claim: the Democrats need to win back the South if they want to win future elections.

While most have correctly identified the South as being socially conservative, many (including the Democratic Party) have failed to realize how fiscally liberal the South is. Instead, many in the Democratic Party have become "me-too" Democrats; agreeing with the Republicans on fiscal issues while downplaying their own social agenda. This "New Democrat" type of moderation as not impressed the South. As a result, Democrats running in national elections in Dixie have gone nowhere.

Moser states that the Democrats need to employ a 21st century type of populism; one that argues for the power of good government to protect the common man. This populist style will resonate strongly with Southern voters, who have witnesses many jobs shipped overseas and a widening gap between the top-income earners and the middle class. With an increasing number of Evangelicals preaching a social gospel calling for more aid to the poor, a new populism, Moser claims, can indeed work. These issues are strong ones for the Democratic Party, and they should use thus to their advantage.

Unlike the Solid South of the early 20th century, the South of today is far from solid. Local Democrats in state legislatures have been able to win elections, and there are still more voters registered as Democrats rather than Republicans. Permanent minority status, Moser argues, is far from inevitable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Weinberg on November 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
After reading this wonderful book you should have the following question on your mind: Why did the Democrats give up on the South in 2004?

Despite what many so-called pundits perceive, Southerners are really not as politically homogeneous as they expect. If you take away the divisive social wedge issues, Southerners really want a populist government.

Bob Moser does an excellent job in giving us a history of Southern politics from just before the Civil Rights era right up to the Democratic primaries of 2008. He shows us how the DLC inspired agenda of trying to out-Republican the Republicans in the 1990's and early part of this decade failed the Democratic Party miserably.

The Democratic Party in the South shall not be ignored now or in the future when the population is even more representative of the national electorate.

[...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Ortez on October 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Blue Dixie: Awakening the South's Democratic Majority by Bob Moser is an articulate, well-documented and concise book detailing the strategy that Democrats need to implement in the South if they wish to succeed. The book could not have been written at a more perfect time as Barack Obama heads into the General Election against the Republican candidate John McCain.

This is a book that every Southern Progressive must read before they cast another ballot in a Presidential election. In eight quick chapters, Bob Moser is able to convey his arguments with facts and research that support his overall claims. This read is recommended to anyone willing to entertain the Republican myth in the south and unravel the voting inconsistencies of the South since Nixon.

The demise of the Democratic Party in the South is a culmination of multiple events as Moser recounts. He sheds light into the Republican's myth of how the South was won, but any Romanization of such accounts is not included without scrutiny. There is hope for Southern Progressives though. Moser calls for a Southern populist movement that unites the regions diverse ethnic and socio-economic population through the issue of Economics. Moser looks down upon the pandering to Dixiecrats by Democrats and asks them to wake up and see their new constituency- made up of Hispanics, Northern Yankees that have relocated in the South to retire and African-Americans.

Moser's argument is as follows: the Democrats betrayed the South by neglecting their new constituency of African-Americans that were eligible to vote. They also
failed to rally behind the white Southern Progressives that helped African-Americans win their rights. At the same time, Republicans developed a race-baiting tactic and swept up the region by gerrymandering.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jon Hunt on September 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bob Moser's compelling new book, "Blue Dixie", gives reasons for hope for the millions of liberal-minded residents south and west of the Mason-Dixon line...hope that the monolithic nature of the South's Republican voting (in presidential elections, for the most part) may actually be turning a corner. It's a tough sell, but Moser just might be onto something.

Early on in "Blue Dixie", a chapter called "Dixiephobia" is introduced and it's a wise choice, given the fact that many readers will not be from the south. While the stereotypes of southerners have long been played out in Hollywood and mocked in other parts of the country, Moser reminds us that the south has a full-fledged core of liberals, who need reasons to come out and vote. He describes the campaign of Congressman Harold Ford, who tried to run in a 2006 Tennessee Senate campaign against his opponent as an almost identical Republican. Moser, quite rightly, suggests that in order to win in the south Democrats need to be Democrats, not a pale substitution of Republicans.

The hardest nut to crack seems to be the evangelical vote, but here, too, things are breaking down. Once seen as the most important voting bloc in the south, the 2006 elections gave rise to a change in evangelical voting habits...and one that may portend an even further shift down the road. Added to that, many Yankees, moving to the south for warmer weather and a lower cost of living, bring with them more moderate views and the explosion of the Hispanic population in states like Georgia, may well have a lasting effect countering the votes of the good-ol'-boy network.
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