This welcome contribution to the history of the civil rights movement, Southern race-based politics of the 1950s and 1960s, and the public career of North Carolina’s Jesse Helms is well researched, extensively footnoted, intelligently written, and interesting to read… an engrossing book.
--CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries
Thrift also goes beyond the typical stereotypes of southern bigots to make Helms’s footprint on the conservative movement large.
--The Journal of American History
Thrift’s volume is a vital addition to the literature on mid-twentieth-century conservatism, southern political change, and the growth of conservative media.
--Journal of Southern History
An important book that provides historians with another lens to evaluate the conservative movement. . . .May hold the key to understanding why southerners came to reject the New Deal and embrace the rhetoric of free enterprise.
Offers an important reminder whatever consensus existed in the 1950s and early 1960s existed largely among elites. Grass-roots politics was far more contentious.
--North Carolina Historical Review
Thrift’s work tells a significant story, and he deftly shows the reader the connection between Helms’s pious incitement and the contemporary conservative message. . . . His book is grounded in history but with a clear eye to the present.
--Journal of American Culture
[A] well-researched account that demonstrates the key role that Jesse Helms and his "pious incitements" had on the making of southern conservativism and the Republican Party in the twentieth century.
--Florida Historical Quarterly