Sunday, July 13, 2008

Allan J. Lichtman's "White Protestant Nation"

Allan J. Lichtman's books include Prejudice and Old Politics: The Presidential Election of 1928; Your Family History; Ecological Inference; The 13 Keys to the Presidency; and The Keys to the White House: 2008 Edition.

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement, and reported the following:
My book, White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement (Grove/Atlantic, 2008) explodes the conventional wisdom that modern conservative politics began with Barry Goldwater's campaign for the presidency in 1964 or William F. Buckley's founding of the National Review in 1955. Rather the book shows that modern conservatism began was born in the 1920s out of fears that secular, cosmopolitan, and pluralistic forces threatened America's national identity.There is far more continuity than other accounts would suggest between today's movement and conservatism in the early twentieth century. Both the earlier movement and today's version are dedicating to the conserving both traditional white Protestant values and American private enterprise.

The information on page 99 of the book helps validate this thesis. I point out that "Thirty years before Richard Nixon's 'silent majority' and Jerry Falwell's 'moral majority'" ... conservative activist and newspaper publisher Frank Gannett "envisioned forming a 'great middle-class bloc' committed to the Constitution and the enterprise system." This group would consist of "'thrifty, frugal, hard-working, self-respecting and God-fearing men and women who built America.'" The group would be "'anchored to the point of view of the middle class American ... who believes in the American Constitution and the King James version of the Bible.'"
Read an excerpt from White Protestant Nation, and learn more about White Protestant Nation at the publisher's website.

--Marshal Zeringue