By Kevin Kruse
Who is Kevin Kruses audience? Historians in general have a complicated relationship with audience.
Some works of history hit the NY Times best-selling list of non-fiction. Those books tend to be books
about a kind of history (eg. Biographies, popular events) To some degree, historians like to think that
they are writing for a popular audience. BUT theres always an expectation if youre an academic
historian that youre writing for other historians. This is mentioned because these two audiences are
very different in terms of what impresses them. A popular audience is going to be impressed by nice
written prose, heroic narratives. What impresses a scholarly audience is tougher; its kind of like playing
tennis. Its not hard to beat a 6 year old at tennis; its harder to beat the best world players in tennis. To
impress other historians is hard because they already know a lot. So this is the challenge set up for
Page 3 The first sentence
- Atlanta accomplished the unthinkable because somehow they come off as solving integration
problems that the rest of the south is not getting. Thats the basic argument.
- The paragraph ends with Mayor William Hartsfield, the city to busy to hate. The perfect public
relations slogan. We are a great place for business and we are not racistwe are too busy to
- They are not going to make a mistake that someone can take a picture of. Its this great public
relations that lead to Atlantas success than Burmingham.
- Most people think that Atlanta is less racist than Burmingham but Kruse is going to disprove this
in the book. They are just as bad, just better in public relations.
- What constitutes evidence? The number one thing historians need are archives. If no archives,
then no history.
Page 3 Roadblocks
- Kruse managed to make a couple of roadblocks in a neighborhood in Atlanta interesting. For
Kruse, this is a crucial moment that the erection of these road blocks is where things start to go
wrong for Atlantas segregation. Kruse doesnt start at the very beginning right after world war
2. Whats going to grab the audience? Its not an obvious choice.
Page 5 The Peyton Wall incident phenomenon of white flight.
- Such a nice transition. Hes moving from the particulars to a broader thing. Its not just an
episode about Atlanta, but an episode of white flight
Page 5 This book explores the causes vantage point - Kruse couldve used any other major city in America
- Kruse is writing about white flight and is using Atlanta as an example
- Although it represented in depth or detail. The so what question. So many people live in the
urban areas of American and you mean theres no scholarly works on white flight yet? YIKES
Page 6 This study however but the experience
- This is what a historian does. They look at how things came to be and why. Why did so many
people move to the suburbs? If your work must be read in order to understand something,
- Because of their confrontation and individualism. Coming out of massive white racism in the
1960s and 70s. One tends to think that America is noble, Kruse says no.
Page 9 As this study demonstrates, a denial of others
- The white people feel as if their rights are being taken away. Damn you federal government,
youre taking away my right to serve who I want to.
- Newt Gingrich has mastered the language of white grievance connected to massive resistance:
you dont like the supreme courts decision, you just dont do it.
Page 11 Indeed, a community level any meaningful detail.
- First, this is what good arguers do. You say youre talking about white flight, but all youre talking
about is Atlanta. Kruse says okay, I get your counter-argument but here is why I have to do this.
- Second, the books shows the nature of different stages of white resistance.
Page 12 while this study sees such differences.
- Kruse is careful with his words and language because its easy to say the north and south are
difference and the same
- The north goes through white flight later than the south not because its less racist but because
there were more African americans in the south earlier. Great Migration: African americans
were trying to get out of the south as fast as possible so there was a huge migration from really
bad labour conditions in the rural south to the northern cities.
- Youre going to get these white flight issues in Atlanta which has a large black population from
the get go first and then in other cities.
Page 15 Last paragraph
- 3 phases: working class whites start the white flight thing first, then middle class whites and
then rich whites and Kruse will explain why
- Some earlier accounts had thought rich white people arent as racist and the working class or
middle class but thats not how it was, its just theyll end up with white flight later
- Kruse isnt going to let the fact that white flight only happens in Atlanta, it happens everywhere.
People love to marginalize the south so they could say, we are not racist, we arent like them
Page 8 In recent years African americans- Talks about different kinds of work being done
- Hes looking at the history of modern conservatism
Chapter 1 The City Too Busy to Hate: Atlanta and the Politics of Progress
Page 19 (Chapter 1) While such questions about to dig deeper.
- Kruse doesnt just read Hunters book, he goes into the archives and looks at his papers from
when he was a grad student
- If he just read the book, youre just looking at Hunters interpretation of what happened. It is
possible to look at the rough manuscripts that Floyd Hunter was dealing with, you can get closer
to his original data. Then you can decide whether or not Floyd Hunter was right.
In order to learn about history, you have to slow it down and learn about the detail. If hes talking about
how racism morphs from clan violence to much subtler ways, like talking in code (eg code whistle). I
support stage rights is code in American politics. How do we move from the explicit racism in the 40s
and 50s to the more sophisticated, coded racism that goes on in that time. He cant do that in one
chapter, Kruse has to write it phase by phase.
Chapter 2 From Radicalism to Respectability: Race, Residence, and
Kruse has a good use of evidence to prove his points. Even g