Does the Road to the White House Run Through the South?
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The one thing political pundits all seem to agree on this election season is that this presidential contest is one for the ages. With no incumbent, wars on two fronts, and a problem-plagued economy, Americans find their attention increasingly riveted to the presidential campaign. So, in 2008, the question remains: Does the road to the White House run through the South? That was the subject of debate recently at ETV between noted scholars/authors, Earl Black and Thomas Schaller. Black is a political science professor at Rice University, and the co-author of “Divided America: The Ferocious Power Struggle in American Politics,” and Schaller is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and author of “Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South.” Their debate, moderated by noted SC historian Dr. Walter Edgar, host of “Walter Edgar’s Journal” on ETV Radio, and history professor and the Director of the Institute for Southern Studies at USC, aired on ETV on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008.
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Assistant Professor of Political Science
University of Maryland Baltimore County
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Dr. Thomas F. Schaller (Ph.D., North Carolina, 1997) is associate professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). He teaches courses in American government, including the U.S. presidency, Congress, and interest group behavior. He is author of Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South, and co-author of Devolution and Black State Legislators: Challenges and Choices in the Twenty-First Century. A twice-monthly political columnist for the Baltimore Sun and contributing writer for Salon, he has published commentaries in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The New York Daily News, The American Prospect, and The New Republic, and has appeared on ABC News, The Colbert Report, MSNBC, National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and “Talk of the Nation” programs, The Tavis Smiley Show, and C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. Schaller has given lectures on American politics in Brazil, Egypt, India, Italy, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey on behalf of the U.S. State Department.
Political Science Professor
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Earl Black is Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Political Science at Rice University. His field is American politics, with special attention to the changing politics of the American South. In partnership with his twin brother, Merle Black of Emory University, he has written three books for Harvard University Press on southern politics: POLITICS AND SOCIETY IN THE SOUTH (1987), THE VITAL SOUTH: HOW PRESIDENTS ARE ELECTED (1992), and THE RISE OF SOUTHERN REPUBLICANS (2002). THE RISE OF SOUTHERN REPUBLICANS was chosen by THE ECONOMIST as one of the best books published in 2002. His new book, co-authored with Merle Black, is DIVIDED AMERICA: THE FEROCIOUS POWER STRUGGLE IN AMERICAN POLITICS. This book focuses on voters, parties, and elections according to regional and national trends. Simon & Schuster published DIVIDED AMERICA in March 2007. DIVIDED AMERICA was selected by CHOICE Magazine in 2008 as an “Outstanding Academic Book.” The paperback edition of DIVIDED AMERICA was published in March 2008. Over his career Black has given thousands of interviews concerning southern and national politics, including interviews with most major American newspapers and appearances on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX, C-SPAN, National Public Radio, and the BBC.