Cavalier and Yankee: The Old South and American National Character / Edition 1

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William Taylor's Cavalier and Yankee was one of the most famous works of American history written in the 1960s. The book is an intellectual history of the South before the Civil War, the perception of it in the North, and the effect it had upon the nation in the years from 1800 to 1860. First published in 1961 and out of print for several years, Taylor's classic study remains essential to the study of the pre-Civil War South.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An extremely important book, a brilliant and original contribution to America's understanding of itself."—Edmund Wilson, The New Yorker

"Anyone seriously interested in the development of American culture will be grateful for the new insights, the fresh conceptions, and the deep probings of national character that enrich this study of an American myth."—C. Vann Woodward, New York Times Book Review

"Taylor's study is intellectual history, I think, of the most imaginative and convincing kind. His book seems greatly superior to almost everything else that has been done about the state of mind of the antebellum South....It is indeed something of a landmark in the writing of Southern cultural history."—Louis D. Rubin, Jr.

"A worthy addition to the personal library of anyone interested in southern history. Cavalier and Yankee is a brilliant and original contribution to America's understanding of itself. It reflects the mind of the South, its anxieties and consolations, its questionings and self-justifications, and its reactions to social change....Taylor's work is the best chronicle we have of the social thinking and fictional sociology which went into the framing of the antipodal myths of the Cavalier and the Yankee. In Short, Cavalier and Yankee is a must for anyone interested in antebellum American thought, culture, and letters."—Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Edmund Wilson
It is the gift of certain historians to be able to put the reader back into the moment of the past they are dealing with, and to make him accept its assumptions, experience its fears and confusions, vibrate to its irrational impulses and follow its rational gropings, as if he did not know what was going to happen, had not yet heard the rest of the story. Mr. Taylor possesses this gift, and Cavalier and Yankee owes much of its effectiveness to this.
The New Yorker
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195082845
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/28/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 15
Prologue - Two Aristocracies: A Dialogue 23
I Crisis in the Old Order 37
Innocence Abroad
The New Provincialism
The Southern Planter as Doomed Aristocrat
Southern Mugwumps
II From Natural Aristocrat to Country Squire 67
Thomas Jefferson Confronts the Legend
A New Man
The Legend Grows
The Natural Aristocrat Takes to the Woods
The Legendary Planter Gains Civilized Restraints
III Point Counterpoint: The Growth of the Southern Legend in the North 95
The Age of Anxiety
The Yankee Takes Cover
The Transcendent Yankee and Society
Daniel Webster and the Transcendence of Sectionalism
The Yankee at Home and Abroad
The Yankee Ethos in Limbo
From Yankee to Southern Cavalier
The Problem of American Gentility
A Division of Labor
IV Holding the Wolf by the Ears: The Plantation Setting and the Social Order 145
The Plantation Legend and Southern Introspection
From Hotspur to Hamlet
The Plantation Becomes a Matriarchy
The Origins of Southern Chivalry
Women and Negroes: One and Inseparable
V A Squire of Change Alley: The Plantation Legend and the Aristocratic Impulse 177
The Literary Origin of the Plantation Legend
From Jest to Sentiment
The Mythmaking Ethos
The Cult of Chivalry and the New Imagination
Literature and Aspiration
VI The Promised Land 203
A Scotch-Irishman Takes Stock
Whigs and Harmony
Yankee and Cavalier
From Whig Harmony to Cavalier Insurgency
VII A Northern Man of Southern Principles 225
From Provincial to Citizen of the World
A Southern Exposure
Westward Ho!
From Jackson to Randolph
The Route to Insurgency
VIII Revolution in South Carolina 261
The Spirit of '76
Toward Insurgency
The Vanishing Patriot
From Falstaff to Hamlet
IX Whistling in the Dark 299
Slavery and the Sentimental Revolution
X The Rage for Order 315
The Virginia Frontiersman
Epilogue - And the War Came 325
The Southern Cavalier Redivivus
References 343
Index 375
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