THIS BOOK is concerned with four of the Border States: Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Maryland. These four were selected because they are contiguous and are typical of the Border State region. In terms of political behavior, the Border States are interesting for their own sakes, resting as they do between North and South and thus providing something of a battleground where the two cultures vie for supremacy. However, the political patterns of the Border States are assuming a more universal significance as the South becomes more industrialized and thus takes on some of the cultural contradictions that heretofore were only to be found in the Border States. Consequently, the Border States have become an important indicator of what the future may hold in store for the South.
A central purpose of this study has been to find patterns of political organization and political change that are common to the Border States and that, consequently, might have a certain universality, at least within the political environment of the United States In some ways the Border State environment is unique. However, many of the problems of the Border State politicians, in terms of such things as organization and relations with interest groups, and of the Border State