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November 11, 2013   Monumental shift

Monumental shift

November 11, 2013

An executive order by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to move from the state Capitol a statue of Thomas E. Watson, an influential white supremacist journalist from Georgia who died in 1922, garnered attention from The New York Times.

James C. Cobb, the Spalding Distinguished Professor in the History of the American South, provided The Times story with insight about Watson's place in Southern history.

"He was not a king, but a kingmaker," Cobb said of Watson. "His endorsements could really swing sizable blocs of votes because he had a very, very strong following out in the Georgia countryside."

Cobb also told The Times, "His story is quintessentially Southern: a bright promise being dragged down into the muck by bigotry and ignorance."

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