Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity by James C. Cobb

By James C. Cobb

From the 17th century Cavaliers and Uncle Tom's Cabin to Civil Rights museums and brand new conflicts over the accomplice flag, here's a awesome portrait of southern id, served in an interesting mix of heritage, literature, and pop culture. during this insightful e-book, written with dry wit and sharp perception, James C. Cobb explains how the South first got here to be seen--and then got here to work out itself--as a sector except the remainder of America.

As Cobb demonstrates, the legend of the aristocratic Cavalier origins of southern planter society was once nurtured by means of either northern and southern writers, simply to be challenged by way of abolitionist critics, black and white. After the Civil conflict, defeated and embittered southern whites included the Cavalier fable into the cult of the "Lost Cause," which provided the emotional power for his or her decided campaign to rejoin the Union on their lonesome phrases. After global struggle I, white writers like Ellen Glasgow, William Faulkner and different key figures of "Southern Renaissance" in addition to their African American opposite numbers within the "Harlem Renaissance"--Cobb is the 1st to teach the robust hyperlinks among the 2 movements--challenged the recent South creed through asking how the grandiose imaginative and prescient of the South's previous may be reconciled with the dismal fact of its current. The Southern self-image underwent one other sea switch within the wake of the Civil Rights flow, while the tip of white supremacy shook the previous definition of the "Southern manner of life"--but even as, African american citizens started to study their southern roots extra overtly and embody their neighborhood, in addition to racial, identification. because the millennium grew to become, the South faced a brand new id situation because of worldwide homogenization: if Southern tradition is in every single place, has the recent South turn into the No South?

Here then is an enormous paintings via one in all America's most interesting Southern historians, a magisterial synthesis that mixes wealthy scholarship with provocative new insights into what the South capability to southerners and to the US as well.

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