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Nation within a NationThe American South and the Federal Government$
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Glenn Feldman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049878

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049878.001.0001

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Texas Philosophy, Nashville Agrarianism, Reagan Republicanism, and the Neo-Confederacy

Texas Philosophy, Nashville Agrarianism, Reagan Republicanism, and the Neo-Confederacy

The Influence of M. E. Bradford

(p.181) 6 Texas Philosophy, Nashville Agrarianism, Reagan Republicanism, and the Neo-Confederacy
Nation within a Nation

Fred Arthur Bailey

University Press of Florida

Fred Arthur Bailey provides a compelling, even chilling, view into the mind of one of modern conservatism's intellectual heroes: Melvin E. Bradford. Bailey's chapter dwells on Bradford's Texas background as well as his intellectual growth in one of the South's foremost incubators of southern conservatism—Vanderbilt University—home to the famous Nashville Agrarians. Bailey makes important connections between Bradford's philosophy and the modern incarnation of Republican conservatism, increasing party extremism, and partisan realignment in the South. The chapter explores what made Bradford's thought so appealing to George Wallace and, later, Ronald Reagan and his advisors—as well as other leading conservative politicians and intellectuals, even those associated with the neo-Confederate movement. Bailey also discusses Bradford's famous attacks on Abraham Lincoln, his intellectual defense of slavery, his paeans to inequality and anti-egalitarian thought, and the rightist religious underpinnings of many of this theories.

Keywords:   Melvin E. Bradford, Texas, Nashville Agrarians, Republican Party, George Wallace, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, Conservatism

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