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From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism



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From Bible Belt to Sun Belt tells the dramatic and largely unknown story of plain-folk religious migrants: hardworking men and women from Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas who fled the Depression and came to California for military jobs during World War II. Investigating this fiercely pious community at a grassroots level, Darren Dochuk uses the stories of religious leaders, including Billy Graham, as well as many colorful, lesser-known figures to explain how evangelicals organized a powerful political machine. This machine made its mark with Barry Goldwater, inspired Richard Nixon's Southern Solution, and achieved its greatest triumph with the victories of Ronald Reagan. Based on entirely new research, the manuscript has already won the prestigious Allan Nevins Prize from the Society of American Historians. The judges wrote, Dochuk offers a rich and multidimensional perspective on the origins of one of the most far-ranging developments of the second half of the twentieth century: the rise of the New Right and modern conservatism.

Author Biography

Darren Dochuk is an associate professor of history at Purdue University and a former Fellow at Princeton University's Center for the Study of Religion. This manuscript won the prestigious Nevins Prize from the Society of American Historians.

Table of Contents

Map of Southern California, CIRCA 1980p. ix
Introduction: "At Home with the Angels"p. xi
Southern Errand
Plain Folkp. 3
Preachersp. 27
Entrepreneursp. 51
Southern Problem
Labor Warsp. 79
New Alliesp. 112
Southern Solutions
Plain-Folk Preaching Mainstreamedp. 141
The New Gospel of Wealthp. 167
Declaration of Independencep. 196
Sentinels of Freedomp. 223
Southern Strategies
Creative Societyp. 259
Jesus Peoplep. 293
Moral Majorityp. 326
Born Againp. 362
Epilogue: Wilderness Againp. 397
Acknowledgmentsp. 411
Notesp. 419
Selected Bibliographyp. 473
Photograph Creditsp. 485
Indexp. 489
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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