This book is about how and why contemporary North Carolina developed as it did. More broadly, it tells a story of the evolution of American democracy, stressing the period since 1948, the year of the first major election after World War II. It is a narrative of political events. Much of the story is told through the election battles that set the course for the future and the debates that shaped these elections. The North Carolina story is not one producing the nice, neat tapestry of a novel, one where all the threads can be tied together perfectly in the end. Yet, in its own way, it is as compelling as any novel could be. The first theme is North Carolina's transition from a racially segregated society based on the concept of white supremacy into a state more closely resembling a participatory democracy, where all people have voting rights and fundamental liberties.
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