The Byrd Machine in Virginia: The Rise and Fall of a Conservative Political Organization (Paperback)
The Byrd Machine ran Virginia politics for more than half a century.
This political organization rose to power during the era of Jim Crow, wielding power and influence over everything from who got the nod to be governor to how the state maintained racial segregation. Inheriting its tactics from two previous political machines, the Byrd organization operated with a pathological hatred of debt spending, crushing the power of labor unions and forcing its will on Black schoolchildren protesting separate and unequal facilities. The nadir of its era was massive resistance, a move to close public schools rather than integrate them.
Journalist and author Michael Lee Pope details the rise and fall of the last great political machine in Virginia.