Redefining Southern Culture: Mind and Identity in the Modern South

Redefining Southern Culture: Mind and Identity in the Modern South

by James C. Cobb
     
 

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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Many historians of the South have portrayed the modernization of this region through the prism of the North's industrialization rather than as a complex example of cultural development in its own right. In this collection, Georgia historian Cobb gathers six previously published and two new essays that, in the author's own words, serve as an "assault" on the prevalent theories of the South as somewhat aberrant in its evolution. The essay topics are wide-ranging--the debate over the study of Southern history and the influence of J.W. Cash's classic Mind of the South (1941), the significance of country music's popularity with mainstream America, and a provocative look at the influence of World War II on the emergence of the modern South. Cobb's work draws upon the writing of many historians, and his notes provide for a rich bibliography. A useful collection; highly recommended for all academic libraries.--Nancy B. Turner, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820321110
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Publication date:
08/01/1999
Pages:
251
Product dimensions:
6.43(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.89(d)

Meet the Author

James C. Cobb is the B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Georgia. His numerous publications include Georgia Odyssey, Redefining Southern Culture, The Brown Decision, Jim Crow, and Southern Identity (all Georgia), Away Down South, The Selling of the South: The Southern Crusade for Industrial Development, 1936-1990 and The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity.

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