Writing on the Southern Front : Authentic Conservatism for Our Times book cover
1st Edition

Writing on the Southern Front
Authentic Conservatism for Our Times

ISBN 9781138300927
Published September 19, 2017 by Routledge
192 Pages

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Book Description

For traditionalists, the conservative ascendency of the 1980s turned out to be a major disappointment. With the triumph of multiculturalism and political correctness, liberalism seemed to move from strength to strength. Still, a stout number of southern conservative writers plunged forward, and their themes of populism, immigration, and cultural integrity are seeing a contemporary resurgence. Discussing a wide array of authors who worked in a variety of genres, Joseph Scotchie celebrates those unreconstructed champions who fought the culture wars of their times with a special learning and vigor. Also included in this collection are creative artists who kept the flame of literature alive, providing visions of possibilities that only genre can provide.

Table of Contents

Foreword Paul Gottfried

Introduction: The Search for an Authentic Conservatism

Part I. The Southern Tradition

I.1 Why They Hate Thomas Jefferson

I.2 Robert E. Lee: The Unvanquished General Lee

I.3 Robert E. Lee: General Lee and Copperhead New York

I.4 Zebulon Vance: The Greatest Tar Heel

I.5 The Other Side of Empire: Antiwar Southrons

I.6 Southrons First: Dixie Democrats Revisited

I.7 Agrarian Valhalla: The Vanderbilt Twelve and Beyond

I.8 Donald Davidson: The Patron Saint of Southern Traditionalists

I.9 Donald Davidson: Donald, Danny and Cissy

I.10 The View From Monteagle: Honoring Andrew Lytle On The Occasion Of His Centennial

I.11 Richard M. Weaver: Philosopher From Dixie

I.12 M.E. Bradford: History In The Bones

I.13 Red’s Revenge

I.14 Thomas Wolfe: The Provincial Traveler

I.15 Thomas Wolfe and New York: The Perfect Marriage

I.16 Something of How To Live: The World of Wendell Berry

I.17 The Last Great Virginian

I.18 The Lost World of Allen Tate

Part II. Towards a New Conservatism

II.1 An Antidote to Multiculturalism

II.2 A Bundle of Contradictions

II.3 Cant Free Conservatism

II.4 Clyde Wilson: A Republic, If You Want It

II.5 Clyde Wilson: The People’s Historian

II.6 The Rest of the Story

II.7 A Nation of Immigrants?

II.8 The Unvanquished Senator Helms

II.9 The Devil and Enoch Powell

Part III. Patrick J. Buchanan

III.1 The Wal Mart Economy

III.2 All Empires End in Ruin

III.3 The Shock of Recognition

III.4 The Last Conservative

III.5 America Used to Be Your Country

III.6 Should Britain have Stayed Home?

Part IV. Samuel T. Francis

IV.1 Goodbye, Middle America

IV.2 "Conserve," Hell!

IV.3 While America Sleeps

IV.4 Samuel T. Francis, R.I.P.

IV.5 Another Shot of Courage

Part V. A Republic of Letters

V.1 Saul Bellow: An Appreciation

V.2 Existence is the Job

V.3 Updike at Rest

V.4 J.D. Salinger: All’s Well that Ends Well

V.5 T.S. Eliot, Editor

V.6 The Young Man and His Corona

V.7 Walk Like a Man: The Early Novels of Richard Price

V.8 All of America

V.9 What it Takes: The Larry Brown Story

V.10 Mark Royden Winchell: Last of the Vanderbilt Greats

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Joseph Scotchie is the author or editor of eight books, including The Vision of Richard Weaver, Barbarians in the Saddle, The Paleoconservatives, and Revolt from the Heartland. His work has won awards from the New York State Press Association and the North Carolina Society of Historians. A graduate of both the University of North Carolina at Asheville and the City College of New York, Scotchie has worked for three decades as a journalist in the New York City area.



For a quarter of a century, Joseph Scotchie has been a thoughtful interpreter of the Southern agrarian literary tradition and its shirt-tail political cousin, paleoconservatism. These essays, whose subjects range widely from Pat Buchanan to Robert E. Lee, and from Saul Bellow to Scotchie's beloved Asheville homeboy Thomas Wolfe, are both provocative and welcome.

Bill Kauffman, Author of Ain't My America: The Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle American Anti-Imperialism

A generation of Americans deprived of intellectual substance and force-fed flavorless cant can look to the living Southern tradition, thoroughly and masterfully introduced and explicated in Joseph Scotchie’s Writing on the Southern Front, for sustenance and inspiration. Readers familiar with some of the writers Scotchie fearlessly treats will benefit from seeing them in their powerful and broad context; the uninitiated will delight in the discovery of works on American history, culture, and politics previously withheld from them by an understandably fearful left.

Aaron D. Wolf, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture



For Barbarians in the Saddle

We owe Mr. Scotchie thanks for bringing [Richard Weaver] once more to our attention. I would particularly recommend this book to young conservatives who may not know there was a time when conservative ideas – real ideas, not just futuristic slogans, ideological dogmas and talk-show polemics – were at the heart of American conservatism.

William F. Gavin, The Washington Times

For The Paleoconservatives

The great, the consuming virtue of The Paleoconservatives is the meticulous attention its contributors pay to how we should live and what we should believe: what ideas we could – gulp – offer to die for. Not a few of these essays are exhilarating. All are challenging, Bravo, Scotchie, I would say. Bravo, the well-placed, literate concern for intelligence and dignity and honor and freedom.

William Murchison, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture

For Thomas Wolfe Revisited

If, as Mr. Scotchie avers, American college students no longer read great novels, his book should go a long way to encouraging them to re-open the novels of Thomas Wolfe, one of the giants of American literature.

Eileen Brennan, The Manhasset (NY) Press

For Revolt from the Heartland

This book … is the best little concise history of principled conservatism I have seen. I was not able to put it down, reading it all in one sitting.

Nat Rudulph, Southern Events

[Scotchie] has given us … an essential and valuable contribution to American intellectual history in the last decade of the last century.

Samuel Francis, The American Conservative

For Street Corner Conservative

Scotchie’s biography is a comprehensive treatment of the most compelling life story of the past 50 years within conservative ranks, surpassing even that of [Pat Buchanan’s] idol, Ronald Reagan.

J.W. Moses, South Carolina Review

For A Gallery of Ashevilleans

Joe Scotchie’s history of Asheville personalities is both a labor of love and an exhibit of unique knowledge and perspective. Every city should have a book like this – but then, not every city is as interesting as Asheville.

Clyde N. Wilson, University of South Carolina