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New LSU Press Book Examines Distinctive Political Practices of the American South

Historian Michael Perman’s “The Southern Political Tradition” to be published in March

01/20/2012 10:04 AM

BATON ROUGE – In “The Southern Political Tradition,” the distinguished southern historian Michael Perman explores the region’s distinctive political practices and behaviors, primarily resulting from the South’s perception of itself as a minority under attack from the 1820s to the 1960s.


Drawing on his extensive research and understanding of Southern politics, Perman singles out three features of the area’s political history. He calls the first element “The One-Party Paradigm,” a political system characterized by one-party dominance rather than competition between two or more. The second feature, “The Frontier and Filibuster Defense,” illustrates a dramatic, preemptive response within Congress to any threat to the region’s racial order. And in the third, “The Over-Representation Mechanism,” Perman describes the skillful manipulation of institutional mechanisms in Congress that resulted in greater influence than the region’s relatively small population warranted.


“The Southern Political Tradition,” published in March by LSU Press, offers an insightful and provocative perspective on the South’s political history.


Perman is research professor in the humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has written or edited eight books in American history, most recently “Struggle for Mastery: Disfranchisement in the South, 1888–1908” and “Pursuit of Unity: A Political History of the American South.” He has also held a Guggenheim Fellowship and won three book prizes.


For more information, contact Erin Rolfs with LSU Press at or 225-578-8282 or visit

LSU Media Relations