"Redefining Southern Culture will undoubtably be a significant book for historians and other scholars interested in the South. Cobb has original and sage observations and his range is impressive. Cobb is at ease in dealing with issues of both economic development and cultural expression, and he engages familiar figures in this manuscript—the writers of the Southern Literary Renaissance, historian C. Vann Woodward, journalist W. J. Cash, sociologist Howard Odem, and contemporary African American writers who are reimagining the South."
—Charles Reagan Wilson, author of Judgment and Grace in Dixie
"Cobb's work draws upon the writing of many historians, and his notes provide for a rich bibliography . . . Highly recommended."
From the creation of the first “New South” in the wake of Appomattox to the current struggles over the Confederate flag, Redefining Southern Culture surveys the remarkable story of southern identity and its persistence in the face of sweeping changes in the South’s economy, society, and political structure. Rejecting the conventional continuity-versus-change framework, James C. Cobb instead illustrates how the evolution of southern culture synthesized these two forces in recent years. Throughout this lively and engaging volume, Cobb examines southern identity in its constantly changing forms, from history and literature to blues and country music to popular and consumer cultures. Cobb also presents the first detailed account of the efforts of African Americans in the South to reclaim their identity as southerners and to construct their own symbolic and substantive representations of what that identity means.
The essays in Redefining Southern Culture reflect James C. Cobb’s career-long interest in exploring southern cultural identity and the interaction of this identity with the economic, social, and political forces that have transformed the region. Written in a refreshingly straightforward and engaging style, this book promises thoughtful reading for anyone interested in the modern South and will be a valuable resource for courses in southern history and culture.