"This handsomely designed and printed book deserves wide circulation and readership. The book testifies to the justice of giving the antebellum southern an 'uninterrupted moment in the court of historical opinion.' O'Brien has called the court to order and presented an argument. One hopes other historians will do the same."
—Journal of the Early Republic
"If we want to understand the traditions of the Old South, especially of the towns and cities, we shall have to follow O'Brien's advice and look not only at tax lists and census reports (which are indisputably important sources) but also at books and journals that were directed to an audience of men and women who wanted to view themselves as reasonable people living in a world hospitable to rationality."
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