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A.001. Southern Politics: Bass-De Vries Interviews

The Bass-De Vries group of interviews includes discussions with political leaders, journalists, editors, party officials, political scientists, campaign directors, union officials, civil rights leaders, and congress people from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. These interviews were conducted as part of a study of politics in the South between 1945 and 1974 that resulted in The Transformation of Southern Politics: Social Change and Political Consequence Since 1945 (Basic Books, 1976). Some of these interviews are exclusively related to the impact of the civil rights movement, black political participation, the rise of the Republican Party, and the results of industrialization and urbanization. Others include information on a broad range of events and movements. Interviews with leaders of regional importance, civil rights activists, and those persons who exercised political power over long spans of time are of particular interest. Also included are a group of interviews, largely conducted by the Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) and other University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) groups, that expand on those collected by Bass and De Vries. Among these are in-depth biographical memoirs of national figures, regional commentators, state party leaders, and local officials. In addition to discussing political issues, each interview aims at revealing the forces that shape the lives of public people--family culture, childhood experiences, education, self-concepts, and early political involvements. The process of political decision-making is also examined. Bass and DeVries interviewed more than 300 respondents from 1973 through 1975. Through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Southern Oral History Program provided transcripts for 215 of the most important interviews. Some of these interviews are exclusively related to the themes in The Transformation of Southern Politics: the impact of the civil rights movement, black political participation, the rise of the Republican Party, and the results of industrialization and urbanization. Others include information on a broad range of events and movements. Interviews with leaders of regional importance, civil rights activists, and those persons who exercised political power over long spans of time are of particular interest. Jack Solomon Bass (1936- ) is a political reporter. He received a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. From 1966 to 1973, he served as Columbia, S.C., bureau chief for the Charlotte Observer. He is the author of Porgy Comes Home: South Carolina After 300 Years (1972) and other books. Walter DeVries (1931- ) is a political consultant. He received his Ph.D. degree in political science from Michigan State University. From 1962 to 1967, he was executive assistant to Governor George Romney of Michigan. Since 1973, he has served as associate professor in the Institute of Political Sciences and Public Affairs at Duke University. He is also director of the North Carolina Institute of Politics. The additional interviews expand on those collected by Bass and DeVries through in-depth biographical memoirs of national figures, regional commentators, state party leaders, and local officials. In addition to discussing political issues, each interview aims at revealing the forces that shape the lives of public people-family, culture, childhood experiences, education, self-concepts, and early political involvements. The process of political decision-making is also examined. Most of these interviews were conducted by the Southern Oral History Program and students and faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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