"For historians of the twentieth-century South, this will likely be an important book, with essays suitable for classroom use as well as for their own research."
—Journal of American History
"Strong collection of essays . . . Powerfully interdisciplinary, the chapters juxtapose work on photographs, the social history of poverty, fiction, and memoir in a successful effort to make the scholars see a more complicated picture of southern rural poverty in the first half of the twentieth century."
"This volume of insightful essays . . . [is] recommended."
Planters, politicians, and others who enforced the southern economic and social status quo not only relied on bigotry but also manipulated deeply held American beliefs about sturdy yeoman nobility and the sanctity of farm and family. Conversely, any threats to the system were tarred with the imagery of big cities, northerners, and organized labor. The essays expose vestiges of these beliefs in sources as varied as photographs from the Farm Security Administration, statistics for incarceration and child labor, and the writings of Grace Lumpkin, Ellen Glasgow, and Erskine Caldwell. This volume shows that those who work to eradicate poverty--and even victims of poverty themselves--can hesitate to cross the line of race, gender, memory, or tradition in pursuit of their goal.
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