The War Within: From Victorian to Modernist Thought in the South, 1919-1945 / Edition 1

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Overview

The years after World War I saw a different sort of war in the American South, as Modernism began to contest the "New South Creed" for the allegiance of Southern intellectuals. In The War Within, Daniel Joseph Singal examines the struggle between the characteristic culture of twentieth-century America and the South's tenacious blend of Victorianism and the Cavalier myth. He explores the lives and works of historians Ulrich B. Phillips and Broadus Mitchell; novelists Ellen Glasgow, William Faulkner, and Robert Penn Warren; publisher William T. Couch; sociologists Howard Odum, Rupert Vance, Guy Johnson, and Arthur Raper; and Agrarian poets John Crowe Ransom, Donald Davidson, and Allen Tate.

The drama Singal unfolds is as much national as regional in its implications. His sophisticated and original analysis of the complex relationship between these southern writers and their heritage enables him to trace the transition to Modernism with unusual clarity and to address questions of major importance in American intellectual history: How did Modernism come into being? Does it display a fundamental, underlying pattern? What are its essential values, beliefs, and assumptions?

Singal marshals archival and published sources and combines them with oral history interviews to trace this process of change on the levels of both formal thought and individual experience. He uses the interwar South as the locale for a pioneering examination of the momentous change that has affected all of Western culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A first-rate piece of work. . . . Soundly researched, carefully constructed and elegantly written.

David Donald, New York Times Book Review

A marvelous book, instantly ranking with or indeed a step ahead of a cluster of fine recent intellectual histories of the modern South.

Reviews in American History

From the Publisher
A first-rate piece of work. . . . Soundly researched, carefully constructed and elegantly written.

David Donald, New York Times Book Review

A marvelous book, instantly ranking with or indeed a step ahead of a cluster of fine recent intellectual histories of the modern South.

Reviews in American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807840870
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 10/14/1982
  • Series: Fred W. Morrison Series in Southern Studies
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 471
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Joseph Singal is assistant professor of history at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He is editor, with John Shelton Reed, of Regionalism and the South: Selected Papers of Rupert Vance.

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