The Old South: Essays Social and Political: With a New Preface

The Old South: Essays Social and Political: With a New Preface

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The Old South: Essays Social and Political: With a New Preface

The Old South: Essays Social and Political: With a New Preface

Read FREE!

Excerpt

A preface is usually either intimate or didactic. The first kind serves better the proper use of a preface to give the reader the true spirit in which a work is written and thus give the chance to read in that spirit of open-mindedness, and possibly sympathy, which alone can give either profit or pleasure. Without this spirit no book can be read as it should. To one reading in another spirit, a book is mere writing; poetry is mere verse; romance mere fiction; history mere annals or statistics, of which some one has wittily said the chief use is to refute other statistics.

History, to be worth the name, must have its horizon and its background. Otherwise it is simply an isolated record which must be brought by some other hand into its proper perspective to have value. Without this due relation, it is "no more history than loose bricks are a house."

In this volume of early essays on the history of the Old South, I have only fluttered the leaves of the history of our people, getting a glimpse only here and there of its full life with many, many pages left unseen.

It is a far cry from an old plantation in Old Virginia to the Quirinal Hill; from the Fork Church Road to the street of the Twentieth of September. And yet, looking through these essays there is a connection between them. In the years which these essays attempt . . .

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