Monday, May 19, 2008

Joseph Lowndes

Joseph Lowndes is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Oregon. His new book is From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism (Yale University Press).

Last week I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I'm currently reading Rick Perlstein's Nixonland, partly because it overlaps the subject of my book, and partly because Perlstein is a pleasure to read.

I recently finished Kevin Bruyneel's The Third Space of Sovereignty, a terrific postcolonial account of US/indigenous relations.

In fiction, I'm about to tuck into Peter Mathiessen's Shadow Country - a reworking of his Watson trilogy. Mathiessen is one of my favorite writers of both fiction and nonfiction. The Watson books are an extraordinary meditation on race, the frontier, violence, and ecological destruction in American political culture, and reviews of Shadow Country suggest that this rendering is better yet.

On the subject of fiction, not long ago I finished Russell Banks' The Darling, which was not as good as his best work, but great nonetheless.
Learn more about From the New Deal to the New Right at the publisher's website.

Ira Katznelson, author of When Affirmative Action Was White, on Lowndes' book:
Evocative and analytical, this historical portrait shows how racial change in the South opened the door to conservative mobilization. Its powerful account of how a cross-regional alliance of white supremacists and business-oriented anti-New Dealers fundamentally reoriented American politics advances our understanding not just of pathways to the present, but of prospects for the future.
Visit Joseph Lowndes' website.

--Marshal Zeringue