Monthly Archives

May 2020


The Electoral College is not a Liberal Arts College

It is an established principle of the current political class, made up of mostly of abhorrent political party office seekers and bureaucrats that the Electoral College is not just obsolete, but apparently a fool’s errand.  The Democrats, for now, are at the forefront of this thought. But then what can be expected of a group of people who think 16-year-olds…
Paul H. Yarbrough
May 30, 2020

Southern Rock for the Apocalypse, Part VII

Ramblin’ Man - Allman Bros This was the biggest hit for the Allman Brothers and it led Lynyrd Skynyrd to Sweet Home Alabama. Every Southern rock outfit wanted to recreate the magic of Ramblin’ Man. The tune was written by Dickey Betts and was one of the last AB songs to feature Berry Oakley on bass. Homesick – Atlanta…
Brion McClanahan
May 29, 2020

Southern Poets and Poems, Part VIII

A series by Clyde Wilson RICHARD HENRY WILDE (1789--1847) of Georgia gave up a successful career as lawyer and Congressman to pursue the Muse in Europe. This poem, though perhaps out of fashion, was praised by Byron and was long immensely popular in the English-speaking world. The Yankee black-face minstrel show impresario Stephen Foster "appropriated" some of the lines and…
Clyde Wilson
May 28, 2020


Watching events unfold as the non-pandemic/pandemic worked its way across the fruited plain has been an eye-opening experience.  For those of us who have been warning Americans that the Constitution is nothing but a paper barricade against tyranny, we are vindicated—but this is not a source of joy.  Many years ago, I had a good friend who loved cigarettes and…

French Conservatives and the Southern Tradition

Part of the blood that flows through the veins of the Southern ethnos is French blood, both of the high-born that settled in places like New Orleans and the plainer folk like the Cajuns of Acadiana and the Huguenots of South Carolina.  This being so, and it also being the case that all true sons and daughters of the South…
Walt Garlington
May 26, 2020

Confederate Memorials: Speaking to Posterity

Should it be asked, why then build this monument? The answer is, they do not need it, but posterity may. It is not their reward, but our debt. - Jefferson Davis So said the former President of the Confederate States in a letter regretfully turning down an invitation to speak at the laying of the cornerstone for the Confederate Monument…
Shane Anderson
May 25, 2020

The Janitor in Chief as Lord of the Cosmos

Once upon a time, somewhere near here, there were thirteen sturdy proprietors. They lived within haling distance of one another and things weren’t so bad. There was a fourteenth proprietor as well, a rascally fellow called Vermotte, but no one liked him or visited him. Anyway, a couple of these householders got a bad case of Condo-maniacal Vision and began…

Southern Poets and Poems, Part VII

A series by Clyde Wilson WASHINGTON ALLSTON (1779--1843) of South Carolina was one of the most important of early American painters.  The first two poems were written in response to his first viewing of major artistic works in Italy. On a Falling Group in the Last Judgment of Michael Angelo, in the Cappella Sistina How vast how dread, o'erwhelming, is…
Clyde Wilson
May 21, 2020

Remember Missouri

People remember Missouri as a Union rather than a Confederate state.  Even those who are not offended by the memory of the Confederacy are either unaware Missouri seceded from the Union or refuse to recognize Missouri’s secession because it was not done “properly.”  Considering the attitudes and underhanded politics common in the 1860s, what exactly does proper mean?  When most…
Jason Welch
May 20, 2020
Review Posts

The Age of Entitlement

A review of The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties (Simon and Schuster, 2020) by Christopher Caldwell In his recently (2020) published book The Age of Entitlement, Christopher Caldwell, a northeast “intellectual” boldly proclaimed something that few Southerners would dare to say. He declares that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 created, “a rival constitution, with which the original…

Old Hope

      When the sick brain with crazy skill                Weaves fantasies of woe and ill. Returning nostalgically for a moment to the presidential debacle—excuse me, "campaign”—of 2003-4, let us recall the headline on the front page of the Nov. 5, 2003 Washington Post which read, "Rivals Demand Dean Apology." An apology, that is, for a remark made by the then…
Jonathan Chaves
May 18, 2020

Podcast Episode 217

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, May 11-15, 2020 Topics: Southern culture, Southern tradition, Southern literature, Southern music
Brion McClanahan
May 17, 2020

Southern Rock for the Apocalypse, Part VI

Hot 'Lanta - Allman Brothers Band The typical standard jazz composition that would be played by Miles Davis or John Coltrane is exactly the same type of composition as “Hot ‘Lanta.”  It begins with the melody (which is repeated), moves into a section where everyone takes turns improvising (Duane Allman melts off your face), and then concludes with a…
Tom Daniel
May 15, 2020

Southern Poets and Poems, Part VI

A series by Clyde Wilson FRANCIS SCOTT KEY (1779-1843) of Maryland.  The story is well known how Key composed "The Star-Spangled Banner" after he witnessed the repulse of the British attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore harbour in 1814. It casts an interesting light on the official U.S.  national anthem when one notes that Key's grandson, Frank Key Howard, was…
Clyde Wilson
May 14, 2020

Blackstone’s Influence on American Political Philosophy

The question before us, ‘how did the writings of Blackstone influence American political philosophy, and what evidence for this influence is seen in Tocqueville's observations of American political life?’ is perhaps best quantified with qualifiers such as influence ‘upon whom’, ‘for how long’, ‘to what extent’. If we accept a genealogy of ideas from Blackstone’s conception of positive law reinforcing…
Barry Clark
May 13, 2020

How Secession and War Divided American Presbyterianism

Presbyterianism has a rich legacy in American history. The Presbyterian church was founded in Scotland by John Knox (d. 1572), a disciple of John Calvin. Along with the Dutch Reformed and New England Puritans, the Presbyterians brought Reformed theology to the New World. Scottish and Irish immigrants introduced Presbyterianism to the American colonies in the 18th century, and the first…
Zachary Garris
May 12, 2020

Mixing It Up

Allen Mendenhall interviews John Shelton Reed. AM:  John, I really appreciate this interview.  Your latest book is Mixing It Up: A South-Watcher’s Miscellany.  I noticed that you dedicated the book to Beverly Jarrett Mills.  She was helpful to me over recent years, and I wish I had known her much earlier and far longer. I sense that she and others, like…
Allen Mendenhall
May 11, 2020

Podcast Episode 216

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute May 4-8, 2020 Topics: Southern culture, Southern literature, Southern music, Confederate States Constitution, Neoconservatives
Brion McClanahan
May 9, 2020

Southern Rock for the Apocalypse, Part V

A series by Brion McClanahan, Tom Daniel, and Jeff Rogers Loan Me a Dime - Boz Scaggs Boz Scaggs rose to prominence after teaming with Steve Miller in the late 1960s on his first two albums. That led to a record contract and a date with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm section in Florence, Alabama in 1969. He knew where to…
Brion McClanahan
May 8, 2020

Southern Poets and Poems, Part V

A series by Clyde Wilson Homage to Revolutionary Heroes DOLLEY PAYNE MADISON (1768—1849) was the wife of President James Madison.                              Lafayette Born, nurtured, wedded, prized, within the pale Of peers and princes, high in camp---at court--- He hears, in joyous youth, a wild report,Swelling the murmurs of the Western gale,Of a young people struggling to be free!   Straight quitting…
Clyde Wilson
May 7, 2020

Why No Confederate Supreme Court?

The Confederacy never organized a Supreme Court because her founders generally interpreted the U. S. Constitution strictly. Over the years they had seen that the U. S. Supreme Court tended to make rulings, and assume jurisdictions, that strengthened and enlarged the Federal Government. As a component of that Government they realized that the Court had a natural tendency to increase its authority.…
Philip Leigh
May 6, 2020
Review Posts

The Graces of Flannery O’Connor

A review of Good Things Out of Nazareth: The Uncollected Letters of Flannery O'Connor and Friends (Convergent Books, 2019) edited by Benjamin Alexander. One of the more agreeable and important books about literature to emerge recently is Good Things Out of Nazareth: The Uncollected Letters of Flannery O’Connor and Friends, edited by Benjamin Alexander who recently retired from teaching literature…

Victor Davis Hanson and “Southern Racism”

The political structure in the United States is often portrayed by the media and its guests via a histrionic history of federalism. However, it seems, no historian or commentator can speak without referencing Southern (and only Southern) racism. And history is always linked, era to era, as Conservative vs Liberal vs Southern. It is often linked as Republican versus Democrats…

Podcast Episode 215

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, April 27 - May 1, 2020 Topics: Robert E. Lee, Political Correctness, Yankees, Southern tradition, Southern literature, Southern music
Brion McClanahan
May 2, 2020

Southern Rock for the Apocalypse, Part IV

A list compiled by Brion McClanahan, Tom Daniel, and Jeff Rogers Good Time Feelin' - Dickey Betts Betts’s solo projects were as good (if not better) than most Allman Brothers albums post Duane Allman. “Good Time Feelin’” is a blistering blues rock tune, and this live version is better than any studio recording of Betts and Great Southern. “I can’t…
Brion McClanahan
May 1, 2020