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Before Johnson examined the health of America, however, he examined the health of the South--and generally, in the 1920s, he found it poor. The revival of the Ku Klux Klan, the Scopes trial, the anti-Catholicism sparked by Al Smith's presidential candidacy, and the labor violence of 1929 made the South the nation's number one news item, reinforcing the national image of a Savage South.
In South-Watching, Fred Hobson contends that Johnson's most important accomplishment was his role as brilliant critic and interpreter of Southern life during this crucial stage in the making of a modern Southern mind. This volume is the first collection of Johnson's essays about the South, and Hobson's perceptive introduction is the first biographical treatment of a man whose vision shaped the destiny of his native region.
Originally published in 1983.
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