A Defender of Southern Conservatism: M.E. Bradford and His Achievements

A Defender of Southern Conservatism: M.E. Bradford and His Achievements

A Defender of Southern Conservatism: M.E. Bradford and His Achievements

A Defender of Southern Conservatism: M.E. Bradford and His Achievements

Synopsis

"Prolific writer and revered teacher M. E. Bradford holds a unique place in American scholarship. During a distinguished career, which came to an early end with his untimely death in 1993, Bradford breathed new life into the southern conservative traditions of his predecessors, the Vanderbilt Agrarians and Richard M. Weaver. Trained as a literary scholar, Bradford made substantial contributions to the study of southern literature, but he also wrote and worked in American history and political thought." "A Defender of Southern Conservatism: M. E. Bradford and His Achievements is the first full evaluation of this southern intellectual's career. Examining his contributions to literary criticism, southern and American constitutional history, rhetoric, and even his controversial writings on Abraham Lincoln, these distinguished academics afford an evaluation of this unique and important thinker." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Clyde N. Wilson

The South was dead, and buried, and yet she rose again.

Thomas nelson page, the old south, 1892

How can the traditional society be preserved as the model of the right conduct of
mind in the face of the modern shift to the vision of mind as the proper model of
society? This may only be accomplished, to be sure, by mind’s assertion that society
is its model.

Lewis P. simpson, mind and the American civil war, 1989

no one who met M. E. bradford ever forgot him. his combination of imposing physical bulk, limitless erudition, rustic dignity and ease, and, not least, antique courtesy and magnanimity, left no doubt one was in the presence of an extraordinary man. By apparently effortless conversation, Mel could hold the attention of an entire room, for as long as he pleased, and on any subject.

And all this was without the usual accompaniments of success in American society—status, celebrity, and money. Because he was ambitious for his cause, he not infrequently crossed paths with those who did enjoy status, celebrity, and wealth. Having never seen anything like it, they did not know how to take him. It was as if that Old Republican Cato, John Taylor of Caroline, had strolled from his plantation into the hall where a gaggle of politicians and lobbyists were doing business as usual—his very existence was a reproach to them.

As with each of us, Mel’s personality will fade, in time, from human memory. But that part of the man represented by his work will . . .

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