Schaller, Thomas F.

views updated

Schaller, Thomas F.

PERSONAL: Male.

ADDRESSES: Office— Department of Political Science, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250. E-mail— [email protected]

CAREER: University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, associate professor of political science, 1998—. Has appeared on C-SPAN, National Public Radio, and various other television and radio networks.

WRITINGS

(With Tyson King-Meadows) Devolution and Black State Legislators: Challenges and Choices in the Twenty-first Century, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 2006.

Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win without the South, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor of articles to Constitutional Political Economy, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Wilson Quarterly, Public Choice, and Publius. Contributor to the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Salon.-com, and American Prospect online; political writer for Baltimore magazine.

SIDELIGHTS: Thomas F. Schaller is the author of Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win without the South. Schaller argues that Democrats, in order to win elections on a national scale, do not need the support of an increasingly conservative Southern electorate. Instead, he says, the party needs to abandon its attempts to win Southern votes in favor of cultivating liberal voters in other areas, particularly in the West. Through a policy like this, a Kirkus Reviews contributor explained, “the Democrats would prosper by branding the Republican Party as the instrument of Southern theocracy and reproductive tyranny.”

Whistling Past Dixie points Democrats toward a strategy of breaking with the mainstream South. Schaller “stated that the situation for Democrats was bad in the south,” reported Ammad Khan and Mia Brown in a Retriever Weekly article summarizing a presentation Schaller gave based on his book at the University of Maryland, “and that Republicans survived the 2006 cycle almost entirely unscathed in the area. Schaller went on to say that under Clinton-Gore, Democrats lost ground in relative terms in the south during the 1990s, and that Clinton was the first non-southern, southern Democrat in history.” A “high population of blacks in the South,” Vanessa Bush stated in Booklist, “will continue to provide the party with a toehold there.” The book, declared a Publishers Weekly reviewer, will provide “a much-needed shot of realpolitik in the arm of the modern Democratic Party.”

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES

PERIODICALS

American Prospect, October, 2006, E.J. Dionne, Jr., “After the Fall of the Right,” p. 52.

Booklist, October 1, 2006, Vanessa Bush, review of Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win without the South, p. 10.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2006, review of Whistling Past Dixie, p. 773.

New York Times Book Review, October 1, 2006, Andrew Hacker, “What’s the Matter with Democrats?”

Publishers Weekly, August 21, 2006, review of Whistling Past Dixie, p. 60.

ONLINE

Retriever Weekly, http://trw.umbc.edu/ (January 1, 2007), Ammad Khan and Mia Brown, “Thomas Schaller Talks about Newest Book.”

UMBC, http://www.umbc.edu/ (January 1, 2007), “Bringing Politics Close to Home.”*