The South Is Another Land: Essays on the Twentieth-Century South

The South Is Another Land: Essays on the Twentieth-Century South

The South Is Another Land: Essays on the Twentieth-Century South

The South Is Another Land: Essays on the Twentieth-Century South

Synopsis

"One might argue as to whether the South is another land' or only a separate verse in the American song. There should be little argument over the usefulness of this collection of ten essays. They find their common ground in a loose schema--the 20th-century South with subsections on politics, the world of work, ' religious affairs, and the search for the South.' All the work is most competently done. It may appear to some that the essays on the southern politicians are generic stories now thrice told; however, they show the individual differences and the uniqueness of personality that always make the biographical approach worthwhile. For sheer relevance to contemporary concerns it would be hard to surpass Willard B. Gatewood's After Scopes: Evolution in the South.' The expected questions of the southern nature, character, identity, and mind make their due appearances. Full notes with each essay, and a useful bibliographical essay on the major works. There is something here for professor, student, and general,reader; university, college, and public libraries should have this volume." Choice

Excerpt

Bruce clayton and john A. salmond

"Mere exists among us . . . a profound conviction that the South is another land, sharply differentiated from the rest of the American nation, and exhibiting within itself a remarkable homegeneity." So wrote W. J. Cash in launching his great work, The Mind of the South, in 1941. There was, Cash admitted, considerable conflict as to what the South's "singularity may consist in. . . . But that it is different and that it is solid--on these things nearly everybody is agreed." Occasionally, Cash conceded, someone would argue zealously that the South was a mere geographical expression, a lot hotter in the summer, of course, and made different from the rest of the nation by the larger number of blacks. But no one took such arguments seriously. "And rightly," Cash quipped.

The historians represented here, rightly eschewing Cash's audacity, are committed to a dispassionate research of the sort that held few blandishments for the Tar Heel writer who cut his literary teeth on H. L. Mencken. Yet their--our--conclusions, arrived at independently after researching various topics in the history of the twentieth-century South, point to the conclusion that the South was another land, different--at its core, in its identity and its self-consciousness--from the rest of the nation.

We begin not with the weather, as U. B. Phillips did, but with '"The Political Scene." Winfred B. Moore, Jr., explores the life of James F. Byrnes, South Carolinian who rose to be secretary of state under President Harry S. Truman in the late 1940s. During the early years of the New Deal, he was one of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's most ardent supporters; later during the war he served with distinction as Director of War Mobilization. But in 1944 Byrnes' lifelong espousal of his state's commitment to white supremacy cost him what he coveted most: the Democratic party's--

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