Waking Their Neighbors Up
The Nashville Agrarians Rediscovered

Thomas Daniel Young


“Young has some instructive things to say about how the Agrarians’ view of things was both like to and different from that of Emerson and Thoreau. . . . Young’s little book is a worthwhile addition to the ever-growing library of works about the Agrarians.”
—John Shelton Reed, Southern Literary Journal

“[A] characteristically lively and informative book.”
—Richard Gray, Journal of American Studies


Stung by attacks upon the South following the celebrated Scopes “monkey trial” in the 1920s, some of the poets comprising the Fugitive group at Vanderbilt University—notably John Crowe Ransom, Donald Davidson, Allen Tate, and Robert Penn Warren— conceived the idea of a symposium that would argue for the worth of an ordered, traditional society as an alternative to what they perceived as the increasing materialism of their times. The Fugitives were joined by eight other southerners, and the result was the 1930 Agrarian manifesto I’ll Take My Stand.

Published in 1982, this retrospective look at the Nashville Agrarians traces the evolution of I’ll Take My Stand, explains what the men who made it were trying to do, and argues that time has proved them to be prophets.


Page count: 104 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $22.95

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Thomas Daniel Young (1919–1997) is the author or editor of many influential books on southern writers including The Literature of the South, Conversations with Malcolm Cowley, Tennessee Writers, and Gentleman in a Dustcoat: A Biography of John Crowe Ransom.