Skip to content

Due to scheduled maintenance, online ordering, in regions where offered, will not be available on this site from 08:00 until noon GMT on Sunday 17th February. We apologise for the inconvenience.


Your Cart


You have 0 items in your cart.

Register Sign in Wishlist

American Politics in the Postwar Sunbelt
Conservative Growth in a Battleground Region

$29.99 (G)

Part of Cambridge Essential Histories

  • Date Published: June 2014
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107672345

$ 29.99 (G)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This book analyzes the political culture of the American Sunbelt since the end of World War II. It highlights and explains the Sunbelt's emergence during the second half of the twentieth century as the undisputed geographic epicenter for conservative Republican power in the United States. However, the book also investigates the ongoing nature of political contestation within the postwar Sunbelt, often highlighting the underappreciated persistence of liberal and progressive influences across the region. Sean P. Cunningham argues that the conservative Republican ascendancy that so many have identified as almost synonymous with the rise of the postwar American Sunbelt was hardly an easy, unobstructed victory march. Rather, it was consistently challenged and never foreordained. The history of American politics in the postwar Sunbelt resembles a rollercoaster of partisan and ideological adaptation and transformation.

    • Analyzes the rise of modern conservatism
    • Highlights and explains the Sunbelt's emergence since 1945 as the undisputed geographic epicentre for conservative Republican power in the United States
    • Provides insight into the contested history of Sunbelt politics
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "For forty-some years, pundits and scholars have portrayed the Sunbelt as a free-market haven for strip malls, megachurches and metropolitan sprawl - and the bastion of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan conservatism. With great breadth and care, Sean Cunningham tracks the long history of this region’s rightward drift and its pivotal role in reddening American political culture. Yet with great creativity and innovation, he also depicts the Sunbelt in refreshingly textured terms as a place of remarkable diversity, adaptation, contestation, and ceaseless transformation. Nuanced and engaging, Cunningham’s beautifully crafted text offers an invaluable glimpse at how this trendsetting region has evolved in the past generation, and where it (and hence the nation) is headed in the next."
    Darren Dochuk, Washington University in St Louis, author of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism

    "Sean Cunningham has produced a lively, comprehensive, and textured synthesis on the history of the American Sunbelt that masterfully integrates the past two decades of burgeoning scholarship. With layers of movement, institutional, social, electoral, and economic history organized in a tight chronology, Cunningham makes the region legible to a wide audience. American Politics in the Postwar Sunbelt is a valuable resource for teaching undergraduates the history of the region and the post–World War II era."
    Michelle Nickerson, Loyola University Chicago

    "Sean Cunningham has written what has long been needed - an astute analysis of the politics of the Sunbelt. Seeing the region in all its variations and permutations, Cunningham’s insightful analysis of the growth of conservatism in the Sunbelt provides historians and the casual reader with an elegantly written study of how political culture developed in the post-World War II West and South. A first-rate political history."
    Gregory L. Schneider, Emporia State University

    "Sean Cunningham offers a compelling overview of Sunbelt politics since World War II. He persuasively demonstrates that although the Sunbelt became the base of the contemporary Republican Party, its political history is more contested and ambiguous than is often thought. Cunningham’s analysis connecting political and policy outcomes to economic and demographic transitions, as well as his account of how federal money helped shape the region’s development, are especially insightful."
    Timothy N. Thurber, Virginia Commonwealth University

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107672345
    • length: 304 pages
    • dimensions: 215 x 139 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 1 map
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: what is the Sunbelt ... and why is it important? 1. Convergence, metropolitanization, and anticommunism
    2. Race, rights, and the liberal consensus
    3. Wars against liberalism
    4. Southern, suburban, and Sunbelt strategies
    5. Mobilizing the religious right in the politicized 'Bible Belt'
    6. Reagan's Sunbelt, Reagan's America
    7. Shades of red, shades of blue
    Epilogue. Sunbelt politics in the twenty-first century.

  • Author

    Sean P. Cunningham, Texas Tech University
    Sean P. Cunningham is Associate Professor of History at Texas Tech University. A decorated teacher, he holds a PhD in Modern American History from the University of Florida and teaches broadly in twentieth-century US history, while specializing in the history of post-1945 American political culture. His first book, Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right, was published in 2010.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.