1st Edition

Minding the South

ISBN 9781412852524
Published September 30, 2013 by Routledge
320 Pages

USD $54.95

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Book Description

For over three decades John Shelton Reed has been "minding" the South. He is the author or editor of thirteen books about the region. Despite his disclaimer concerning the formal study of Southern history, Reed has read widely and in depth about the South. His primary focus is upon Southerners' present-day culture, but he knows that one must approach the South historically in order to understand the place and its people.

Why is the South so different from the rest of America? Rupert Vance, Reed's predecessor in sociology at Chapel Hill, once observed that the existence of the South is a triumph of history over geography and economics. The South has resisted being assimilated by the larger United States and has kept a personality that is distinctly its own. That is why Reed celebrates the South.

The chapters in this book cover everything from great thinkers about the South—Eugene D. Genovese, C. Vann Woodward, M. E. Bradford—to the uniqueness of a region that was once a hotbed of racism, but has recently attracted hundreds of thousands of black people transplanted from the North. There are also chapters about Southerners who have devoted their talents to politics, soft drinks, rock and roll, and jewelry design. Reed writes with wit and Southern charm, never afraid to speak his mind, even when it comes to taking his beloved South to task. While readers may not share all his opinions, most will agree that John Shelton Reed is one of the best "South watchers" there is.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Edition
The Three Souths
I. The Journalistic Eye
The Mind of the South and Southern Distinctiveness
The Times Looks at Dixie
Among the Believers
The Secret History of Civil Rights
The Smoke Never Clears
One Tough Lady
A South That Never Was
II. History and Historians
American Weed
Slaves View Slavery
Slipshod Totalitarianism
Southern Intellect
Southern Studies Abroad
III. Friends and Masters
C. Vann Woodward
Eugene D. Genovese
M. E. Bradford
IV. What They Say about Dixie
Of Collard Greens and Kings
Red and Yellow, Black and White
Telling about the South
The Imagined South
V. Six Southerners
Lady Propagandist of the Old South
The Man from New Orleans
The World's Best-Selling Novelist
Mover and Shaker
Hardy Perennial
The Southern Elvis
The End of Elvis
VI. Southern Culture, High and Low
Southern Laughter
A Cokelorist at Work
The National Magazine of the South
Carolina Couch Crime
VII. Southern Lit (and One Movie)
Taking a Stand
Portrait of Atlanta
Nebbish from Mississippi
Hollywood Chain Gangs
VIII. Reflections
The Banner That Won't Stay Furled
The Most Southern State?
Brits and Grits
He's Baaack
If at First You Don't Secede . . .
Party Down
Our Kind of Yankee
IX. But Let's Talk about Me
Mixing in the Mountains
Among the Baptists
Choosing the South

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