Focusing on four major civil rights groups, Power, Politics, and the Decline of the Civil Rights Movement: A Fragile Coalition, 1967–1973 documents how factions within the movement and sabotage from the federal government led to the gradual splintering of the Civil Rights Movement. Well-known historian Christopher P. Lehman builds his case convincingly, utilizing his original research on the Movement’s later years—a period typically overlooked and unexamined in the existing literature on the Movement.
The book identifies how each civil rights group challenged poverty, violence, and discrimination differently from one another and describes how the federal government intentionally undermined civil rights organizations’ efforts. It also shows how civil rights activists gravitated to political careers, explains the rising prominence of civil rights speakers to the Movement in the absence of political organizing by civil rights groups, and documents the Movement’s influence upon Richard Nixon’s presidency.
- Identifies the instances in which the civil rights groups acted as a united coalition between 1967 and 1973 and recognizes how disagreements on separatism, feminism, and political campaigning split the Civil Rights Movement into individual civil rights groups
- Establishes the importance of women to the survival of the Movement in its later years
- Shows how the Movement influenced antiwar demonstrations of the era and struggled to remain nonviolent as Black Power militancy peaked
- Details efforts by the White House, the FBI, and state governments to infiltrate and sabotage the Movement
- Provides broad content ideal for undergraduate and graduate college students taking courses on the Civil Rights Movement as well as for professional and lay historians