The South as an American Problem

Edited by Larry J. Griffin and Don H. Doyle

New visions of the modern South


"Stylish essays . . . Portray and interpret a region that changed more than any other in the postwar years."
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Scholars have long searched for the central theme of southern history, and this volume is a major contribution to that quest."
—Charles Reagan Wilson, coeditor of The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

"Can't we all just get along? If we ever do, will it be because the South has shown America the way? Twelve authors . . . explore that paradoxical possibility in The South As an American Problem."
Nashville Life

"A superb volume that deserves a wide readership."
Southern Cultures

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How do southerners feel about the ways in which the rest of the country regards them? In this volume, twelve observers of the modern South discuss its persistent image as a people and place at odds with mainstream American ideals and values. Ranging from the South's climate to its religious fundamentalism to its great outpouring of fiction and autobiography, the contributors show how and why our perceptions of the region have been continually refashioned by national/southern tensions, trends, and events. At the same time, they show that although the nation has sought, time and again, to change the region, America also has used the South to expose and modify some of its own darker impulses.

As editors Larry J. Griffin and Don H. Doyle point out, no single approach could clarify the complexities underlying this persistent notion of a "Problem South." Representing a diversity of backgrounds and interests, the writings in this volume are the products of strong and independent minds that cut across disciplines, disagree among themselves, blend contemporary and historical insights, and confront conventional wisdom and expedient generalities.

Filled with fresh insights into the dynamics of the region's long-troubled relationship with the rest of the nation, this volume allows us all to view the current state and future course of the South, as well as its link to the broader culture and polity, in a new light.

Page count: 328 pp.
Trim size: 6.5 x 9.25


List price: $30.95

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Larry J. Griffin is a professor of sociology and director of American Studies at Georgia Southern University. Don H. Doyle is a professor of history at Vanderbilt University.