Stressing the relevance of The Transformation of Southern Politics as a background for understanding the South into the next century, Jack Bass and Walter De Vries write that the "themes of change in southern politics still involve the rise of the Republican Party, black political development and the Democratic response to it--and the interaction of these forces with social and economic issues." The Transformation of Southern Politics examines the post-World War II political evolution of the eleven southern states and traces the effects of such influences as Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, urban migration, the growth of the Republican Party, and the rise of African Americans in the political landscape.
Relying on the methodology that V. O. Key used in his 1949 classic Southern Politics in State and Nation, the work draws on interviews with more than 360 politicians, scholars, journalists, and labor leaders, and includes a wealth of data on voting trends, political perceptions, and population flow to present a comprehensive portrait of the region up to the 1976 presidential election. In the preface to the Brown Thrasher edition, Bass and De Vries offer an overview of the region's current political climate, including an analysis of the 1994 mid-term elections. They also provide excerpts from their interview with Bill Clinton during his first campaign for political office.