Professor Jason Morgan Ward discusses his book Defending White Democracy: The Making of a Segregationist Movement and the Remaking of Racial Politics, 1936-1965. Starting in the 1930s at the advent of the New Deal, Southern Democrats came to face a growing threat to Jim Crow and White Supremacy. New Deal agencies seemed to threaten Federal intrusion into labor and social norms that held white people in power. After World War II, Southern Dixiecrats attempted to wrench power away from Truman and the emerging Civil Rights platform of the Democratic Party. As the national elections played out, Southern White Supremacists fought to maintain local and state control in an ever-changing political environment.

Jason Morgan Ward is professor of history at Emory University, where he teaches modern United States history. A native of northeastern North Carolina, he received his bachelor’s degree from Duke University and his Ph.D. in history from Yale University