No previous work explained the nature of antebellum southern society as well. Southerners were, as Owsley so effectively shows, a rural people with rural values whose society was far more complex than the simplistic, yet persistent, stereotype of the Old South.
Frank Lawrence Owsley (1890--1956) taught southern history for many years at Vanderbilt University, and later at the University of Alabama. He is the author of State Rights in the Confederacy and King Cotton Diplomacy, coauthor of The United States: From Colony to World Power, and one of the contributors to I'll Take My Stand: The South and the Agrarian Traditions.
John B. Boles is William P. Hobby Professor of History at Rice University and editor of the Journal of Southern History. He is the author of University Builder: Edgar Odell Lovett and the Founding of the Rice Institute and The South through Time: A History of an American Region, Black Southerners, 1619--1869, as well as numerous other books.
Walter Lynwood Fleming Lectures in Southern History