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

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Synopsis

Winner of the American Historical Association's John H. Dunning
Prize and the Organization of American Historians' Ellis W. Hawley
Prize.


A sweeping, five-decade history of the evangelical movement in southern California that explains an epochal realignment of American politics.
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."
 

About Darren Dochuk

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Darren Dochuk is a professor of history at Purdue University and a former Fellow at Princeton University. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post and other venues. He lives in West Lafayette, Indiana.
 
Published December 13, 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company. 520 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for From Bible Belt to Sunbelt

Kirkus Reviews

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Dochuk is a careful explainer of odd historical events, though his historian’s objectivity allows a few subtleties to slip by that he might have pounced on—not least how the Bible Belt rhetoric of California circa 1966 is the rhetoric of the entire nation in 2010, with its immigrant-bashing, thin...

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AV Club

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(Nixon is a minor player here, mostly in conference with close friend Billy Graham, whose speech in Anaheim’s “Big A” stadium failed to bring local leaders to consensus.) The link between Baptist membership and financial well-being, says Dochuk, proved irresistible to Dust Bowl-wounded families;

Jan 13 2011 | Read Full Review of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: P...

The New Republic

In order for an evangelical political movement to emerge, it was necessary to overcome the fissiparous instincts of fundamentalist Bible preachers, transcend visceral anti-Catholicism far enough for political cooperation to emerge, and translate sometimes abstruse biblical interpretations into pr...

May 19 2011 | Read Full Review of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: P...

The New Republic

In order for an evangelical political movement to emerge, it was necessary to overcome the fissiparous instincts of fundamentalist Bible preachers, transcend visceral anti-Catholicism far enough for political cooperation to emerge, and translate sometimes abstruse biblical interpretations into pr...

May 19 2011 | Read Full Review of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: P...

Project MUSE

113).With the help and support of Ronald Reagan, Billy Graham, Walter Knott, and Pat Boone popularizing their message and hundreds of conservative evangelical institutions providing the resources, Dochuk argues convincingly that these conservative political activists and their victories in Southe...

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Time Magazine

In the heat of the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama and John McCain journeyed to Pastor Rick Warren's Orange County, California, megachurch for a candidate forum in front of thousands of conservative Evangelicals.

Jan 17 2011 | Read Full Review of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: P...

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