New Politics in the Old South: Ernest F. Hollings in the Civil Rights Era

Jan 22, 2018

Fritz Hollings
Credit U.S. Congress

 (Originally broadcast 9/29/17) - New Politics in the Old South: Ernest F. Hollings in the Civil Rights Era (2016, USC Press) is the first scholarly biography of Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings, a key figure in South Carolina and national political developments in the second half of the twentieth century. Throughout his career Hollings was renowned for his willingness to voice unpleasant truths, as when he called for the peaceful acceptance of racial desegregation at Clemson University in 1963 and acknowledged the existence of widespread poverty and malnutrition in South Carolina in 1969. David T. Ballantyne uses Hollings' career as a lens for examining the upheaval in Southern politics and society after World War II.

While Hollings was at times an atypical Southern senator, his behavior in the 1960s and 1970s served as a model for survival as a Southern Democrat. His approach to voting rights, military spending, and social and cultural issues was mirrored by many Southern Democrats between the 1970s and 1990s. Hollings's career demonstrated an alternative to hard-edged political conservatism, one that was conspicuously successful throughout his Senate tenure.

Author David T. Ballantyne is a lecturer in American history at Keele University in the United Kingdom. He holds Ph.D., M. Phil., and M.A. degrees from the University of Cambridge and has previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

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