Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South

Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South

White Evangelical Protestants and Operation Dixie

Book - 2015
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"This study provides new answers to one of the most perplexing questions facing historians of labor and of the South: why were workers so resistant to the efforts of unions and liberals to reform the region? Elizabeth and Ken Fones-Wolf add evangelical Protestantism to the narrative of how workers responded to organized labor's most ambitious effort to transform the U.S. South in the decades after World War II: the CIO's Operation Dixie (1946-53). The authors investigate how the Depression and World War II, and the economic restructuring that accompanied them, affected the religious culture of the South and the outlook of evangelical Protestants. Drawing on deep research in denominational archives and newspapers and in records of national church organizations, the CIO, and business organizations, they examine the religious backgrounds and outlooks of the individuals the CIO sent to the South and discuss how these messengers -- who represented denominational backgrounds quite different from those of their would-be constituents -- looked to southern ministers and congregants. They also use oral histories to consider how workers' religious beliefs guided their choices to join or reject the CIO's appeal. By making the sacred a major element in the story of struggle for southern economic justice and positioning class as a central aspect of southern religion, the Fones-Wolfs provide new and nuanced understandings of how southerners wrestled with the options available to them in this crucial period of change and possibility"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Chicago : University of Illinois Press, [2015]
ISBN: 9780252080661
Characteristics: xiv, 264 pages ; 24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Fones-Wolf, Ken - Author


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