Did David Brooks Tell the Full Story About Reagan’s Neshoba County Fair Visit?

Joseph Crespino, historian at Emory University, on the context of the 1980 Ronald Reagan speech in Mississippi that New York Times columnists Paul Krugman and David Brooks have been awkwardly debating:

Brooks’s column, however, is a good example of conservatives’ discomfort with their racial history.  Reagan is to modern conservatism what Franklin Roosevelt was to liberalism, so it’s not surprising that Brooks would feel the need to defend him.  But Brooks’s throwaway remark that “it’s obviously true that race played a role in the GOP ascent” understates what actually happened. 

(Thanks to Aaron Swartz.)

Monday, 12 November 2007