The South continues to be the most distinctive region in American politics. Its ""peculiar institution"" of slavery set the stage for the Civil War, which in turn led to the creation of the Democratic ""Solid South."" Over the last half century, however, Democratic dominance in the South has given way to the emergence of a truly competitive two-party system that leans Republican in presidential elections. In some ways, the region is increasingly like the rest of the country, yet even the degree of change and the speed with which it occurred give the South a distinctive air. The contributors to Southern Political Party Activists examine both the development of American political party organizations and the changing political character of the South, focusing on grassroots party activists - those who are involved in party organizations at the county level.