In a wide-ranging discussion encompassing the blues, sharecropping, and contemporary black intellectuals, Kirby shows how the needful practice of black labor bargaining in the South resulted in a progressive black tradition of verbal negotiation. The conservative separatism and retro-resistance of rural whites, Kirby argues, is embedded in an inherited and adversarial frontier ethos valuing self-sufficiency and access to wilderness. With the southern landscape imaginatively as well as factually linked to social class, crime--particularly forest arson--becomes the most important form of southern white countercultural expression.
Kirby continues his look at white resistance in a review of "redneck" discourse, examining the public reputation of southern whites through a range of cultural phenomena, from literature to country music to the computer network known as BUBBA-L. Original, personal, and artfully written, The Countercultural South offers fresh reflections on southern exceptionalism in American political life and culture.
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