Often asked how he got his start in the &'grave;business of being Southern,íí Michael Andrew Grissom tells the story of when he was in the fifth grade and teachers were beginning to introduce the students to civics and history. He took his books home and started to wonder about the thing they called the &'grave;Civil War.íí Finally, his mother sat him down and explained very concisely, &'grave;Well, let me tell you how it was. Lee was the good guy, and Grant was the bad guy.íí And Grissom says &'grave;it stuck. I remain solidly convinced to this day that my mother was right.íí Born and raised in South Central Oklahoma, Grissomís first calling was music. He received bachelorís and masterís degrees in music education as well as minors in instrumental music and social studies from the University of Oklahoma. He then taught history and music for several years in secondary schools in Norman and Wynnewood, Oklahoma. After serving as a vocalist and pianist in several musical groups ranging from barbershop quartets to jazz bands, Grissom formed &'grave;The Rebels,íí a country music/gospel band that recorded in Nashville and traveled throughout Dixie. A die-hard Southerner, Grissomís writing career began when he realized there were no all-inclusive books about the heritage of the South; and most importantly in this age of South-bashing, there were few, if any, modern-day books that presented the South in a positive light. Since he felt that it was high time for a strong defense of the South and that no Southern literary figure would write the needed books, he decided to take on that challenge. Grissom began researching and writing at the same time and drew from his natural Southern background. He defined his goal as &'grave;to reinsure the South so that we donít give up any more of our flags, our traditions, and the celebration of our priceless legacy.íí Beginning with Southern by the Grace of God, a celebration of things Southern ; followed by The Last Rebel Yell, a call to the defense of Southern life against all those attempting to tear down Southern culture; and finally, When the South Was Southern , a reminiscence of bygone days, Grissom has compiled a comprehensive trilogy on the culture of the South that people have responded to with an enthusiastic, almost religious fervor. A former member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, he is the recipient of several awards including the 1975 Oklahoma Heritage Award and the Jefferson Davis Medal. Moving from Nashville back to Wynnewood, Oklahoma, in 1994 after the death of his father, Grissom misses his music. But he stays busy with his full-time writing career and radio talk-show interviews, which are his &'grave;forte.íí Grissom says, &'grave;When they start on the Southern stuff, the phones light up.íí
When the South Was Southernby Michael Grissom, Michael A. Grissom
Michael Andrew Grissom has gathered what may be for many Americans the first glimpse into the South's former way of life. His new book, When the South Was Southern, the culmination of his trilogy on Southern culture that began with Southern by the Grace of God, is a collection of photographs, postcards, and tintypes that serves as tangible proof that the grand Old
Michael Andrew Grissom has gathered what may be for many Americans the first glimpse into the South's former way of life. His new book, When the South Was Southern, the culmination of his trilogy on Southern culture that began with Southern by the Grace of God, is a collection of photographs, postcards, and tintypes that serves as tangible proof that the grand Old South did indeed exist.
Since Southern history, culture, and architecture have often been downplayed in modern textbooks, many Americans have little concept of the Southern life in the days past. Here we see the families, the towns, the charm and elegance of the early South. The faces in these pictures show this region's real spirit, and in many ways, this book does for the South what Walker Evans and James Agee's book did for the Great Depression--reveal its haunting beauty undeniably.
With each photograph, Grissom provides an explanatory note or a bit of history. Some of them will break your heart, like pictures of young men soon to be killed in battle followed by accounts of the brutality suffered by the loved ones they left behind.
Many of the photos depict church and social traditions nearly extinct (see "All-Day Preachin' and Dinner on the Ground''). Others tell amazing stories of courageous Southern citizens like Emma Sansom, who risked her life to show Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest a hidden crossing on the Black Creek in Alabama.
A valuable addition to any library, north or south, When the South Was Southern is sure to bring fresh insights into the old South as well as a revived and well-deserved interest in carrying on its memory.
- Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
- Age Range:
- 15 - 17 Years
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