Freedom Fighters and Hell Raisers: A Gallery of Memorable Southerners

Freedom Fighters and Hell Raisers: A Gallery of Memorable Southerners


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"I don't have any children, so I've decided to claim all the future freedom-fighters and hell-raisers as my kin," wrote journalist Molly Ivins. Ivins is one of the biggest hell-raisers profiled in this collection of essays by Hal Crowther, but there is plenty hell-raising and freedom-fighting to go around. Crowther is a writer whose own career is marked by sharp political and social commentary in the pages of national and regional outlets, from Time to the Atlanta Constitution to The Oxford American. In this collection, he turns his attention to best and the brightest of the recently departed generation in the South. These essays commemorate the passing of iconic Southern figures such as John Hope Franklin, Doc Watson, Judy Bonds, and James Dickey. Crowther has known most of the folks he profiles and has lived in their particular landscape for decades; he has some stories to tell, and he does so with a particular appreciation for his subjects’ accomplishments, their surroundings, and even, in the case of politicos Jesse Helms and George Wallace, their particular brand of notoriousness. Novelist and commentator Silas House, author of Southernmost and A Parchment of Leaves, introduces the collection.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780932112781
Publisher: Blair
Publication date: 10/16/2018
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 618,245
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Hal Crowther is an award-winning critic and essayist, a journalist whose work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, Granta, and Narrative magazines, among many others, and in the Oxford American, where his column “Dealer’s Choice” was a finalist for a National Magazine Award. His columns and reviews have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Spectator, and many independent weeklies and journals. A recipient of the Baltimore Sun’s Mencken Award for Writing, he is the author of four essay collections and An Infuriating American: The Incendiary Arts of H.L. Mencken. For his third collection of essays, Gather at the River, he was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle prize for criticism. He lives in Hillsborough, NC, with his wife, novelist Lee Smith.

Table of Contents


by Hal Crowther

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Silas House

  • Introduction

  • Molly Ivins, The Red Rose of Texas

  • John Hope Franklin, A Long View, Unsweetened

  • Father Thomas Berry, Deep Greens and Blues

  • Lance Corporal Brian Anderson, A Farewell to Arms

  • James Dickey, The Last Wolverine

  • Sister Evelyn Mattern, Confession, Dedicated to a Fighting Nun

  • James Still, A Man of the World

  • Marshall Frady, Son of a Preacher Man

  • Kirk Varnedoe, A Prophet from Savannah

  • Jesse Winchester, The Tennessee Kid

  • Anne Braden, An Embarrassing Woman

  • Tommy Thompson,The Last Song of Father Banjo

  • Eubie Blake, A Century of Ragtime

  • Judy Bonds, This Land is Your Land

  • Frank M. Johnson, The Last Southern Hero

  • Jesse Helms, The Last of His Kind?

  • Will Campbell, God’s Will

  • George Wallace, Requiem for a Bantamweight

  • Doc Watson, But Now I See

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