Faulkner the Southerner Blog Post

A review of Faulkner the Southerner (Abbeville Institute Press, 2023) by James E. Kibler What more can be said than what has already been said about the life and work of William Faulkner? For decades, scholars and lay enthusiasts alike have written a myriad of books (and even more articles) analyzing the techniques that formed, and the influences and beliefs…

Patrick Seay
May 23, 2023

My Southern Thanksgiving Blog Post

I’ll Take My Stand contains a vivid description of rural Southern life by Andrew Lytle: “The Hind Tit,” which I always associate with my Thanksgiving memories, despite its not being specifically about Thanksgiving. (The title refers to the poor nourishment left to the “runt” Southern States by the American empire after the War Between the States.) The farm life that…

Terry Hulsey
December 7, 2022

No Capitulation: A Call to Southern Conservatives Blog Post

This piece was originally published at Chronicles Magazine and is reprinted here by permission. The following speech critical of the conservative establishment is one that I did not give at The Charleston Meeting, in Charleston, S.C., whither I was invited by its organizer Gene d’Agostino, as a speaker for the evening of April 14. After espying copies of my book…

Paul Gottfried
May 2, 2022

Clarence Jordan and the Southern Tradition Blog Post

The Southern Tradition is not something easily defined in a few words.  Its specific formulation comes from the work of Richard Weaver as he interpreted the thought of the Nashville Agrarians with significant augmentation by M.E. Bradford.  For my purposes here I will just consider it to be the sum of the myriad ways that southern culture, history, and ways…

Mike Goodloe
October 23, 2020

Southern Anticolonialism Blog Post

A review of Burden of Dependency: Colonial Themes in Southern Economic Thought (Johns Hopkins, 1992) by Joseph Persky An Under-Appreciated Book In 1973, the young economist Joseph J. Persky wrote piece in Southern Exposure with a promising title: “The South: A Colony at Home.” He recalls thinking at the time that he was in “some sort of “vanguard.”[1] I read…

Joseph R. Stromberg
December 17, 2019

The Defense of Southern History Blog Post

From late 1983 until its fitful demise in the early 2000s, I served as a contributing editor, adviser, or just simply a contributor to the old Southern Partisan magazine. Although a last issue came out in 2009, the quarterly had pretty much ceased regular publication a few years before that, largely due to internecine South Carolina politics and personalities. The…

Boyd Cathey
September 18, 2019

The Revolt Against Christian Civilization: The Southern View Blog Post

Southerners, of all Americans, have been the most acute and the most persistent in their analyses of what has ailed and threatened our culture, certainly since the end of the War for Southern Independence. Only consider a Robert Lewis Dabney or an Albert Bledsoe in the years immediately after that conflict. Then, more recently, recall the Southern Agrarians centered in…

Boyd Cathey
September 9, 2019

Southern Populism and the South’s Agrarian Identity Blog Post

In what passes for political and cultural discourse today, the term “populist” is something of a pejorative, conjuring up images in the mind of the cultural and academic elite of dangerous folks with pitchforks and guns riding about in pick-up trucks looking for an uprising to foment.  This of course is nonsense.  What the tsars of public opinion describe as…

John Devanny
September 2, 2019

The Southern Tradition: Twenty Years After Richard Weaver Blog Post

The image of Richard Weaver that sticks in my memory is a disturbing one. He is standing before an audience in a conference room at Vanderbilt University, his gnome-like features barely rising above the tall, polished oak podium that holds his manuscript. He wears a brown, wrinkled suit, shiny at the elbows; and at midmorning he is already in need…

Thomas Landess
May 3, 2019

The Challenge of the Southern Tradition Blog Post

In 1966, Senator Jim Eastland of Mississippi walked into the Senate Judiciary Committee and asked, “Feel hot in heah?” A staffer replied: “Well Senator, the thermostat is set at 72 degrees, but we can make it colder.” Eastland, puzzled by the response, doubled down, “I said, Feel Hot in heah?” The staffer now was perplexed and fearing that he might…

Brion McClanahan
March 25, 2019

Contested Ground: Southern Identity and the Southern Tradition Blog Post

In the popular imagination the South is viewed as a region typified by racism, poverty, and ignorance save a few special islands, such as Chapel Hill and Charlotte, which lay in the archipelago of enlightenment.  There are some cracks in this edifice of Yankee bigotry, but when political and cultural wars become heated, the edifice is trotted out once more…

John Devanny
February 18, 2019

The Southern Critique of Centralization Blog Post

The Southern political tradition, in practice and theory, is one of its most valuable contributions to America and the world. The one constant theme of that tradition from 1776–through Jefferson, Madison, John Taylor, St George Tucker, Abel Upshur, John C. Calhoun, the Nashville Agrarians, Richard Weaver, M. E. Bradford, down to the scholars of the Abbeville Institute–is a systematic critique…

Donald Livingston
January 28, 2019

Nathan Bedford Forrest and Southern Folkways Blog Post

There are many examples of heroism that illustrate spiritedness in America’s history. Indeed, the American Revolution was won because of the indomitable spirit of the Patriots and a growing unwillingness of the British to put down the campaign for independence. The same spirit was present a century later during the War between the States. It is routinely acknowledged that Confederate…

Benjamin Alexander
July 16, 2018

What’s Happened to the Southern Heartland? Blog Post

With roots in urban America, the libertarian New Class, which staffs so many of today’s influential think tanks, is disinclined to view the troubles in rural America as a real crisis. This group tends to view a farm as simply another unit of production that, if inefficient, should wither away without public concern—indeed no more deserving of concern than the…

Anthony Harrigan
September 22, 2017

Lyon Gardiner Tyler and Southern History Blog Post

Delivered at the 2017 Abbeville Institute Summer School. The attack on the so-called “lost cause” myth in American history is nothing new. Beginning in the 1950s and 60s, historians like Kenneth Stampp began a concerted effort to undermine the dominant historical interpretation of the War, namely that the War and Reconstruction had been stains on American history, that the War…

Brion McClanahan
August 18, 2017

New South Voices of the Southern Tradition Blog Post

Presented at the 2017 Abbeville Institute Summer School. As scholars dedicated to exploring what is true and valuable in the Southern tradition, we are most often drawn to the antebellum South and the early federal period, the days when Jeffersonian federalism and political economy reigned supreme and Southern statesmen were regarded as the best in the land. We still fight…

Brion McClanahan
July 28, 2017

Southern Identity and the Southern Tradition Blog Post

In the popular imagination the South is viewed as a region typified by racism, poverty, and ignorance save a few special islands, such as Chapel Hill and Charlotte, which lay in the archipelago of enlightenment.  There are some cracks in this edifice of Yankee bigotry, but when political and cultural wars become heated, the edifice is trotted out once more…

John Devanny
July 5, 2017

Wendell Berry: More Than a Southern Thoreau Blog Post

It was pure brag on young Henry Thoreau’s part to say that he had gone to Walden Pond in order “to front only the essential facts of life,” to take a Spartanlike stance against its demands on us, to cut a broad swath and shave close. In point of fact, Thoreau went to Walden to write the book later published…

Thomas McDonnell
May 1, 2017

Choosing Southernness: Southern With an Italian Accent Blog Post

Late in August 1965, a young boy not yet eight-years-old stood with his father on the field at Gettysburg near the spot where Pickett’s men formed in the woods. The boy’s father was not a learned man and had an uncertain grasp of the events that took place on that ground more than a century before. “Which side were we…

Mark G. Malvasi
September 6, 2016

A Southern Political Economy vs. American State Capitalism Blog Post

General Lee was a soldier and leader of men, not a politician. Although several of his decisions as soldier had an important political impact in American history, he seldom discussed such matters. An exception is his correspondence with the British historian Acton shortly after the war. Acton had spent a long career studying how constitutional liberty had gradually developed as…

Clyde Wilson
August 10, 2016

Pope Francis and the Southern Tradition Blog Post

Recent attempts made by the left and the right to make Pope Francis one of “their” own has sparked considerable debate among the political class and their voices in the mainstream media.  Pope Francis’s speech before Congress was nothing more than a continuation of themes he has publically endorsed throughout his time as pontiff, namely support for the environment and opposition…

Brion McClanahan
October 1, 2015

New From Southern Pens 3 Blog Post

The Report from Dogwood Mudhole Franklin Sanders is a well-known Southern leader and spokesman.   In 1995 Sanders, his wife, children, and grandchildren moved lock, stock, and barrel to Wayne County, Tennessee, determined to return to the land and learn to be farmers. Their adventures in this epic agrarian quest are being recorded by Sanders in a trilogy. The first volume…

Clyde Wilson
June 25, 2015

James Henley Thornwell and Southern Religion Blog Post

The God-fearing, Bible-reading, hymn-singing Confederate army grew out of a Southern soil well cultivated during the long struggle of countless, if largely unsung, preachers to civilize a harsh and violent frontier. Personal piety and Bible-centered family circles bolstered the churches in a successful effort to shape the regional culture. The churches assumed responsibility for the education, especially moral, of the…

Eugene Genovese
May 5, 2015

Southern Conservatism Blog Post

This article originally appeared in American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia (ISI Books). It is reprinted by permission of the publisher. Southern conservatism, as opposed to the generic American variety, is a doctrine rooted in memory, experience, and prescription rather than in goals or abstract principles. It is part of a nonnegotiable Southern identity with what it is prior to what it…

M.E. Bradford
July 21, 2014

Fugitive Agrarians Blog Post

I’ll Take My Stand, the classic statement of Southern Agrarianism, was first published in 1930. Since that time, it has never been out of print. You have to ask yourself why people have continued to read it. There are several good reasons why they shouldn’t. It’s a quirky book. The 12 essays—written by men of varying backgrounds and talents—are uneven…

Thomas Landess
April 3, 2014

Recommended Books about the South and Its History Blog Post

A friend recently asked me for a list of good books about the South and “the Late Unpleasantness” which he could share with his two sons, one of whom will be entering college this fall, and the other who will be a high school senior. I began naming some volumes, at random. But my friend stopped me in mid-sentence and…

Boyd Cathey
May 31, 2022

Who’s Your People? Blog Post

“Who’s your people?” Though now somewhat rare, one still hears that question in Dixie, usually uttered from the lips of older or rural Southerners. Much is implied by the question. There is the implicit belief that one’s extended family — or clan, given much of the region’s Scotch-Irish roots — serves as an inextricable part of one’s identity. Also implied…

Casey Chalk
July 26, 2021

On “Good Uses” for the Confederate Flag Blog Post

One of my colleagues in the ministry of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) recently wrote that among “good uses” for the Confederate battle flag are “diaper, shop rag, kindling, stuffing for a pillow, burping cloth,” and “toilet paper.”  In the ensuing discussion – which I was not a part of – he added, “It’s a treason/slavocracy flag.  Plain…

Rev. Larry Beane
June 2, 2021

Secession: The Point of the Spear Blog Post

Secession: The point of the spear aimed at the heart of the American Leviathan – or so I once thought. Certainly secession has been a live idea in Europe for a long time, often under the rubric of “self-determination.” Ludwig von Mises wrote in Liberalism in 1927 that “[t]he right of self-determination… thus means: whenever the inhabitants of a particular…

Terry Hulsey
November 20, 2020

We’ll Take Our Stand Blog Post

It is not often enough, but I do set aside blocks of time to express gratitude to God for all the many blessings He has bestowed on me in my lifetime. There are many things I have missed out on, or simply fouled up royally, but the stars aligned in mid-October and I had the good fortune of being able…

Joshua Doggrell
November 12, 2020

A Mass for the Resurrection Blog Post

A review of Who Owns America? A New Declaration of Independence (ISI Books, 1999) edited by Herbert Agar and Allen Tate In graduate school, I was assigned by the resident “New South” historian I’ll Take My Stand by Twelve Southerners as my final paper.  I eagerly accepted the project.  This was in my back-yard, so to speak.  I had read…

Brion McClanahan
March 3, 2020

Real Conservatism Blog Post

A review of The Southern Tradition: The Achievements and Limitations of Southern Conservatism (Harvard, 1994) by Eugene Genovese The notion of a Southern polit­ical tradition can be understood as conservative, complete, and consistent with its roots. Eugene Genovese’s The Southern Tradition poignantly articulates these qualities from the perspec­tive of a Marxist gone conserva­tive—a Southern conservative, indeed. Elucidating Genovese’s understanding of…

Won Kim
September 3, 2019

G.K. Chesterton and Old Dixie Blog Post

Before there was any New England in the North, there was something very like Old England in the South. Relatively speaking, there is still – G. K. Chesterton Within Christian and conservative circles, the great English writer Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) is widely considered one of the most important authors of the Twentieth Century. As a poet, novelist, mystery writer,…

Garrett Agajanian
August 15, 2019

Recovering Authentic (Politically Incorrect) Conservatism Blog Post

A review of Writing on the Southern Front: Authentic Conservatism For Our Times (Routledge, 2017) by Joseph Scotchie Joe Scotchie’s recently published anthology Writing on the Southern Front: Authentic Conservatism For Our Times made me aware of the task that confronts every serious student of the Right—recovering what otherwise might slip down the Memory Hole. Both the American media and,…

Paul Gottfried
April 16, 2019

“White Privilege” or “Yankee Privilege?” Blog Post

White privilege has become a major leftwing talking point and justification for a plethora of progressive initiatives that can best be described as reverse racial discrimination. White privilege is the mirror image of white supremacy.  Both are evil ideas based upon race consciousness linked to a political ideology that denies the value of the individual. White supremacy is the outward…

James Ronald Kennedy
January 17, 2018

A Breach in the Wall Blog Post

A Review of: Look Homeward by David Herbert Donald, Little, Brown, 1987. When David Herbert Donald recalls his youthful reaction to Look Homeward, Angel, he describes a magic that many of us felt upon encountering Thomas Wolfe as adolescents: “I was convinced-without any just cause-that I too was misunderstood by my family and unappreciated in my community, and, like Eugene,…

Loxley Nichols
June 27, 2017

The Shining Spirits Blog Post

Why the South Will Survive, by Fifteen Southerners. Edited by Clyde N. Wilson. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1981. As a naturalized Southerner (born in the North but educated in the South) it is a delight to discover this hard intellectual diamond among the soft dunghills of contemporary American publishing. The fifteen separate essays contained in this work deserve…

Jeffrey St. John
March 21, 2017

The Year in Review Blog Post

Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina told a friend in 1980 that, “I’m bound to confess that President Carter has instilled some foreboding in prospect to the outcome of the election….As I interpret his campaign sermon, President Carter said states’ rights had become as obscene as any four-letter word, and Ronald Reagan had proved his unfitness for the presidency by telling…

Brion McClanahan
December 30, 2016

Up, Maybe, From Liberalism Blog Post

When I was active in College Democrats at my small state college, in the early 2000s, we didn’t quite fancy ourselves revolutionaries. Middle class origins were universal; collared shirts were frequent; raised fists were nonexistent. Many of our meetings and events were, like so much else in college, little more than excuses to drink beer. We didn’t aspire to bring…

R.M. Stangler
September 30, 2016

Is Pluralism Enough? Blog Post

Fr John Strickland, reflecting on the Renaissance of Western Europe, wrote, . . . For Burckhardt, the Renaissance (for the first time a distinct period in history) became the moment of cultural liberation, the breakthrough into the modern age of humanism, individualism, and secularism.  . . . At the heart of this breakthrough was the Renaissance’s reflection on the human…

Walt Garlington
June 21, 2016

The Same Old Stand? Blog Post

This essay was published in Why the South Will Survive: Fifteen Southerners Look at Their Region a Half Century after I’ll Take My Stand, edited by Clyde Wilson, 1981. When the Southern Agrarians took their stand, they did it stoutly, on two feet. Some emphasized the “Southern,” others the “Agrarian,” but fifty years ago it seemed that the two loyalties, to the South…

John Shelton Reed
December 1, 2015

Ferrol Sams and Run With the Horsemen Blog Post

Do men read fiction anymore? In my youth I remember visiting other boys’ homes and finding novels from their fathers – you know, Zane Grey, Louis L’Amour, Ernest Hemingway, Ian Fleming. In my own family there were no books, and I can confidently state that not one of my forebears had read even 50 books, fiction or nonfiction, not even…

Terry Hulsey
November 2, 2015

An Honorable Cause Blog Post

America is now governed as an ever more centralised nation/state with an increasingly imperialist and left-authoritarian character.  But America as a society and a people is no longer coherent. A people, according to St, Augustine, are those “who hold loved things in common.”  By that reading Americans are not  a people. A recent poll indicates that 44% of Southern people…

Clyde Wilson
May 9, 2023

The Attack on Leviathan, Part V Blog Post

XIII. The Dilemma of the Southern Liberals Originally published in The American Mercury, 1934 “The Dilemma of the Southern Liberals” Back when wild-eyed suffragettes were on the losing end of Oklahoma Drills with King George V’s horse, Vanderbilt and Sewanee were Southern football giants, and the Bull Moose Party was hawking the square new deal, Southern liberals—all hopped up on…

Chase Steely
December 2, 2022

Remember 1994 Blog Post

The problem now is the same as it was in 1994, the same as it was in 1980 (Reagan) and 2016 (Trump). The greatest Republican measure of conservatism that creates “waves” as opposed to pond-stills, e.g. Ford, Romney, McCain, Bush (any one of the New England preppies, carpetbagging Bush clan), is in the South. The real South. Not the South…

Paul H. Yarbrough
November 8, 2022

Ideas Have Consequences Blog Post

Palatial Porches and Dying Civilizations I take great pains to ensure that the devilish tempo of modern life never breaches my portico. Life should always be in adante, and I like to imagine that the haint blue of the porch repels the unclean spirits of prestissimo. A fine porch can make you feel like King Solomon, and a fine man…

Lafayette Lee
July 27, 2022

The Attack on Leviathan, Part 2 Blog Post

I. The Diversity of America Parts of this chapter (along with several others) are from “Sectionalism in the United States,” Hound and Horn, VI (July-September, 1933). The link to Davidson’s “Sectionalism” essay provides some context of its genesis—some of which is a smidge uncomfortable. In The Idea of the American South (1979), Michael O’Brien portrays Davidson as a misfit compared…

Chase Steely
July 15, 2022

The Attack on Leviathan, Part 1 Blog Post

“In 1938 appeared the clearest and most courageous of the Agrarian documents, Donald Davidson’s Attack on Leviathan.” – Richard M. Weaver Russell Kirk tells the story of discovering Davidson’s book in 1938 as a sophomore at Michigan State in the introduction for its reprint in 1991. Kirk writes, “The book was so good that I assumed all intelligent Americans, or…

Chase Steely
July 8, 2022

Rage Against the [Industrial Food] Machine Blog Post

In the rural Virginia town of Swoope, near the Shenandoah Valley, Joel Salatin practices common sense and ecologically sustainable agriculture on his farm, Polyface. In the wake of a COVID-19 pandemic that has drastically changed food distribution networks and disrupted the entire supply chain of the country, farming methods like Salatin’s have become increasingly desirable as we approach a dystopian…

Michael Martin
March 1, 2022

The Lost Cause Reconsidered Once More Blog Post

  On a website devoted to publishing scholarly articles, I did recently did a search for “The Lost Cause” and unsurprisingly found a plethora of articles on that theme relating mostly to the aftermath of the American War of 1861-65. Also unsurprisingly, many of these apparently set about to examine the issue with a view toward debunking that effort as…

Thomas Hubert
February 9, 2022

The Achievements of M.E. Bradford Blog Post

By Forrest McDonald and Clyde Wilson. These essays were originally published in the Fall 1982 issue of Southern Partisan. A review of M.E. Bradford, A Worthy Company: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution. Marlborough, NH: Plymouth Rock Foundation, 1982 and M.E. Bradford, A Better Guide Than Reason: Studies in the American Revolution. La Salle, Ill.: Sherwood…

Abbeville Institute
February 3, 2022

The Old South and the New Blog Post

This essay was originally published in the February 1936 issue of The American Review. Years ago, during the World War, I traveled from Chicago by way of Cincinnati to Montgomery, Alabama, in the company of a group of young ladies from the North who were visiting their men-folk encamped at Camp Sheridan. None of them had been South before, and…

Frank L. Owlsley
August 5, 2021

Conservatism’s Dixie Roots Blog Post

It is maddening to listen to people who attempt “conservative thought” with but a shallow mentality for the concept.  True conservative thought comes from the seeds of agrarians and various cultivations in spirit and in heart; the heart of family conservation and the kneeling before God. It is not fractious political parties and preening T.V. personalities lost to history and…

Paul H. Yarbrough
July 21, 2021

Cousin Lucius Blog Post

The Southern version of Thoreau’s Walden may be considered I’ll Take by Stand, by Twelve Southerners, with its subtitle, The South and the Agrarian Tradition.  It was published in 1930 and met with considerable criticism from those who believed it was a futile effort to “turn back the clock” to an idealized utopia of the antebellum South.  On the contrary,…

The Professor and the Proposition Blog Post

As the “Exceptional Nation” totters and pratfalls further toward perdition, some on what is commonly, if not entirely accurately, known as the “Right” are calling for the various factions to unite beneath a single banner – a band of brothers, as it were – to battle shoulder-to-shoulder against the Bolshevik plague-beast. Several such tocsins have resounded from the San Bernardino…

Enoch Cade
May 17, 2021

Woke Capitalism Guns for the South Blog Post

Major League Baseball on 2 April announced that both the All Star Game and the draft would no longer be held in Atlanta as retribution for Georgia’s recent election laws. “I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft,” explained MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. The…

Casey Chalk
April 8, 2021

Henry Miller’s Air-Conditioned Nightmare Blog Post

Travel writing about the American South is a genre of its own.   One such observer was Henry Miller, who traveled through the South in 1941.  Miller was born in 1891 in New York City and lived almost all of his life there until 1930 when he moved to Paris.  He spent almost all of the years between 1930 and 1939…

Mike Goodloe
September 22, 2020

The Remnant, Part I Blog Post

How long will you torment my soul, and break me in pieces with words? These ten times you have reproached me; you are not ashamed that you have wronged me. And if indeed I have erred, my error remains with me. If indeed you exalt yourselves against me, and plead my disgrace against me, know then that God has wronged…

Kentucky Hobbits Blog Post

A review of The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot (Ignatius Press, 2014), by Jonathan Witt and Jay W. Richards. Russell Kirk often said that his true formation as a conservative had more to do with reading the novels of Sir Walter Scott than anything else. We also know from James Kibler’s work,…

Garrett Agajanian
March 17, 2020

Podcast Episode 207 Blog Post

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, March 2-6, 2020 Topics: Secession, Southern Tradition, Agrariansim, Conservation

Brion McClanahan
March 8, 2020

An Environmental Right Blog Post

I started my political journey on what I thought to be the Left. Books like Klein’s The Shock Doctrine resonated with me, as did films like American Beauty and Revolutionary Road. My favorite childhood films were Atlantis and The Iron Giant. All of these works are part of a long line of salient critiques of the deracinated culture of consumption…

Neil Kumar
March 2, 2020

Does the South Exist? Blog Post

A Review of The Idea of The American South, 1920-1941, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979) by Michael O’Brien. I have an invitation to extend to Michael O’Brien, the British author of The Idea of the American South, 1920-1941. At his convenience, I would like Mr. O’Brien to accompany me to a small establishment (one of those notorious Southern “fighting and…

James J. Thompson, Jr.
November 19, 2019

A Confederate Dialogue Blog Post

A review of The Lytle-Tate Letters: The Correspondence of Andrew Lytle and Allen Tate (University of Mississippi Press, 1987), Thomas Daniel Young and Elizabeth Sarcone, eds. Considering Allen Tate’s well-documented contrariness, the four-decade-long friendship of Tate and Andrew Lytle must be considered one of the great creative acts in the lives of both men. That the two men could keep…

Tom Rash
October 22, 2019

On Ballylee: The Enduring Legacy of Our Fathers’ Fields Blog Post

A retrospective review of Our Fathers’ Fields: A Southern Story (University of South Carolina Press, 1998) by James Everett Kibler, Jr. On June 7, 1998, I opened a copy of The State newspaper from Columbia, South Carolina, and read a review of a book that I immediately knew I had to own. The article, “Family Ties: Author Looks at Hardy…

Remembering Mel Bradford Blog Post

A review of A Defender of Southern Conservatism: M.E. Bradford and His Achievements (Missouri, 1999) by Clyde N. Wilson, ed. Clyde Wilson, Professor of History at the University of South Carolina and editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun, has assembled and introduced this collection about a man notable, among other things, for his own affinity with Calhoun and…

J.O. Tate
May 6, 2019

The Land We Love Blog Post

A review of The Land We Love: The South and Its Heritage (Scuppernong Press, 2018) by Boyd Cathey I must confess that I feel a bit awkward about reviewing Dr. Boyd Cathey’s outstanding anthology, The Land We Love: The South and its Heritage. I am, as the reader may notice, mentioned in the preface, along with Clyde Wilson, as one…

Paul Gottfried
December 18, 2018

Forrest McDonald and the Art of History Blog Post

A review of Recovering the Past: A Historian’s Memoir (University Press of Kansas, 2004) by Forrest McDonald “History is marble, and remains forever cold, even under the most artistic hand, unless life is breathed into it by the imagination. Then the marble becomes flesh and blood—then it feels, it thinks, it moves, and is immortal.” —Charles Gayarré (1805-1895) It is…

Stephen M. Klugewicz
December 11, 2018

Taking Root Blog Post

A review of Taking Root: The Nature Writing of William and Adam Summer of Pomaria by James Kibler (editor) and Wendell Berry (Foreword) (University of South Carolina Press, 2017). Perhaps land is more important to the Southern tradition than any other aspect of the region’s experience. Historians continue to grapple with questions that ask how Southerners understood land and nature….

Alan Harrelson
October 16, 2018

I Heard A Voice Blog Post

They were standing at the ledge. Their view mirrored a panorama of buildings and smoke stacks. Great edifices, heaving asymmetrically, skewed with monster cylinders venting plumes of expended energy. The farms, the land, scarcely discernible, were hiding from the crowding machines in ambient spaces where life of life and lives of lives grappled and struggled for survival. The agrarians had…

Paul H. Yarbrough
July 13, 2018

Yankee Sanctification Blog Post

“It was my first introduction to damn Yankees,” my oldest sister remarked of her first semester at James Madison University in the fall of 1982. It was here, at this university nestled in the mountains of Virginia and named after one of the state’s most famous sons, that her Northern dormitory suite-mates were horrified by such flagrant abuse of their…

Dissident Mama
May 16, 2018

Donald Davidson Revisted Blog Post

Mel Bradford has argued that no individual has exerted more influence upon the development of a profession of letters this century in the South than Donald Davidson. The poet, essayist, and social critic is well known to most literary scholars and historians of the South; however, Davidson’s critique of the Southern experience remains largely unappreciated. Several years ago the author…

H. Lee Cheek, Jr.
May 10, 2018

Reconsidering William Jennings Bryan Blog Post

When William Jennings Bryan died in 1925, H.L. Mencken wrote a scathing eulogy stating: “There was something peculiarly fitting in the fact that [Bryan’s] last days were spent in a one-horse Tennessee village, and that death found him there. The man felt home in such scenes. He liked people who sweated freely, and were not debauched by the refinements of…

Michael Martin
April 4, 2018

I’ll Take My Stand Blog Post

A review of I’ll Take My Stand by Twelve Southerners (LSU, 2006). In this age where the homogenization of our culture is nearly complete, thanks largely to widespread media and rampant industrialism, I’ll Take My Stand remains as fresh and relevant as the day it was published more than seventy years ago. Instead of indulging in reactionary daydreams or nostalgia,…

Randall Ivey
April 3, 2018

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors Blog Post

A review of Regionalism and Nationalism in the United States: The Attack on Leviathan by Donald Davidson (Transaction Books, 1991). August 18, 1993 will mark the centennial of Donald Davidson’s birth. On April 25 of that year, he will have been dead a quarter of a century. During his lifetime Davidson was considered the most minor of the major Fugitives,…

Mark Royden Winchell
March 27, 2018

Why the South Won the Civil War Blog Post

Fred Douglas Young, Richard M. Weaver, 1910-1963: A Life of the Mind. University of Missouri Press, 1995. 217; Joseph Scotchie, editor, The Vision of Richard Weaver. Transaction Publishers, 1995. Early in the fall of 1939, while driving over “the monotonous prairies of Texas” to begin a third dismal year at Texas A & M with its “rampant philistinism, abetted by…

David Middleton
December 18, 2017

John Crowe Ransom’s Last Stand Blog Post

“The modern man has lost his sense of vocation.” “A Statement of Principles,” I’ll Take My Stand “One wonders what the authors of our Constitution would have thought of that category, ‘permanently unemployable.’”  –Wendell Berry A Review of Land!: The Case For an Agrarian Economy by John Crowe Ransom, Edited by Jason Peters, Introduction by Jay T. Collier University of…

Alan Cornett
July 4, 2017

Understanding Andrew Lytle Blog Post

A Review of The Southern Vision of Andrew Lytle, by Mark Lucas, Louisiana State University Press, 1987. Andrew Lytle’s writings comprise a rich and diverse tapestry whose outlines are difficult to bring together. The critic who tackles this varying body of material must become conversant in history, political philosophy, military biography, and literary criticism. Lytle has been feted for achievements…

Benjamin Alexander
June 20, 2017

Poor but Proud Blog Post

A review of J. Wayne Flynt, Dixie’s Forgotten People: The South’s Poor Whites. Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1979. Professor Flynt, the author of this volume, concentrates on the economic condition and the cultural life of poor white South­erners, but does not fail to mention some of the vices of the American majority, especially the attempt, often unsuccessful, to…

Michael Jordan
June 13, 2017

A Better Guide Than Reason Blog Post

A Review of M.E. Bradford, A Better Guide Than Reason: Studies in the American Revolution. 1979. The world’s largest, most ancient, and most exemplary republic observed its bicentennial not long ago. One would expect such an occasion to be a time of rededication and renewal, of restoration and recovery. Instead, we had a value-free official celebration that was expensive, dull,…

Clyde Wilson
May 17, 2017

Understanding Faulkner Blog Post

A Review of: On the Prejudices, Predilections, and Firm Beliefs of William Faulkner. By Cleanth Brooks. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1987. 162 pp. When I think of the state of literary criticism in the academy today, I think of a New Yorker cartoon someone has put up in the liberal arts coffee lounge at Clemson. It shows…

Why Flannery O’Connor Never Liked Yankees Blog Post

YANKEE, n. In Europe, an American. In the Northern States of our Union, a New Englander. In Southern States the word is unknown. (seeDAMYANK.) Ambrose Bierce, THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY (1906). Bierce’s definition of the Yankee is a bit outdated. No doubt some Southerners still refer to Northerners, especially New Yorkers and New Englanders, as Damyanks, but no one can say…

Michael Jordan
April 24, 2017

Reflections of a Ghost Blog Post

Of the twelve agrarians who wrote the, symposium I’ll Take My Stand, only three are alive: Robert Penn Warren, the poet and novelist, Lyle Lanier, a psychologist and former executive vice-president of the University of Illinois, and myself, a writer and reader of fiction. I don’t presume to speak either for Warren or Lanier, and I don’t know how to…

Andrew Nelson Lytle
April 20, 2017

The Mind of the Old South Blog Post

A review of All Clever Men, Who Make Their Own Way: Critical Discourse in the Old South, edited with an introduction by Michael O’Brien. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press. 1982. 456 pages. The intellectual history of the South is yet to be written. This assertion bootlegs two assumptions that do not go unchallenged. The first is that there is something…

Clyde Wilson
April 19, 2017

H.L. Mencken and the South Blog Post

Mencken’s “Sahara of the Bozart” is one of the most famous essays of 20th century American let­ters. Since its appearance in 1919, the essay has become widely regarded as Mencken’s “slur on the South,” as his acid-laced repudiation of Southern culture (indeed his assertion that the South had no culture). “The Sahara of the Bozart” is a bit more complex…

Guy Story Brown
March 10, 2017

The Burning of Atlanta Blog Post

I don’t watch sports as I once did. Growing up down South some of my fondest memories were of the World Series, and the radio connection through Al Helfer, Red Barber or Mel Allen. I can still hear those voices. I know there are fewer and fewer of us who recall those moments, but those still around recognize my sentiments….

Paul H. Yarbrough
February 16, 2017

Robert E. Lee: American Hero Blog Post

Several years ago, leftist blowhard Richard Cohen at the Washington Post wrote that Robert E. Lee “deserves no honor — no college, no highway, no high school. In the awful war (620,000 dead) that began 150 years ago this month, he fought on the wrong side for the wrong cause. It’s time for Virginia and the South to honor the…

Brion McClanahan
January 19, 2017

The Legacy of Francis Butler Simkins Blog Post

A biographer defined Francis Butler Simkins as “one of the most interesting intellectual forces of his generation.” As a scholar who questioned conventional thinking he “helped lay the foundation of the Civil Rights Movement. Yet, when these momentous events of the 1950s and 1960s challenged the traditional order in the American South, Simkins discovered much…that he believed should be conserved…

Grady McWhiney
November 8, 2016

Review: Reinventing the South: Versions of a Literary Region, by Mark Royden Winchell Blog Post

Chronicle’s most distinguished contributing editor, can be relied upon, always, to tell it like it is. He is doing just that when he writes in a  blurb to Reinventing the South:“these essays are splendidly written—mercifully free of contemporary critical jargon and easily accessible to the good and serious reader.”  And he amplifies this description of Professor Winchell’s work with “high intelligence…

Clyde Wilson
October 12, 2016

Reestablishing a Family Economy: A Biblical Imperative, Part I Blog Post

This essay was originally published at The Deliberate Agrarian. In my previous blog post I mentioned Allan C. Carlson’s soon-to-be-published book, The Natural Family Where It Belongs: New Agrarian Essays, and Generations With Vision, a ministry that is working to bring about the reformation of strong Christian families by casting a vision for the establishment of vibrant family economies. The…

Herrick Kimball
September 20, 2016

Podcast Episode 41 Blog Post

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Sept 5-9, 2016 Topics: Southern culture, Southern tradition, Agrarians, Decentralization, Southern politics, Confederate Constitution

Brion McClanahan
September 11, 2016

Reflections of a Ghost: An Agrarian View After Fifty Years Blog Post

Of the twelve agrarians who wrote the symposium I’ll Take My Stand, only three are alive: Robert Penn Warren, the poet and novelist, Lyle Lanier, a psychologist and former executive vice-president of the University of Illinois, and myself, a writer and reader of fiction. I don’t presume to speak either for Warren or Lanier, and I don’t know how to…

Andrew Nelson Lytle
August 23, 2016

Podcast Episode 28 Blog Post

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, May 23-27, 2016. Topics: Political Correctness, agrariansim, the Southern tradition, Reconstruction

Brion McClanahan
May 28, 2016

Agrarianism and Cultural Renewal Blog Post

This essay was originally printed at The Imaginative Conservative. Among the contributions to I’ll Take My Stand, Allen Tate’s “Remarks on the Southern Religion” is usually interpreted as the most acerbic, immoderate, and unusual essay in the collection. All too often the essay is read as an apologia for violence or an eccentric defense of tradition. In fact, Tate–like his…

H. Lee Cheek, Jr.
May 24, 2016

What is PC? Blog Post

This talk was delivered on Friday, February 26, 2016 at the Abbeville Institute Conference “The PC Attack on the South.” We are here to deal with the PC attacks on Southern Tradition. We have become so familiar with PC in everyday life that our perception of what it actually is has been dulled. PC is a deceptive cover name for…

Clyde Wilson
March 2, 2016

The Prophetic Sage of Roanoke Blog Post

There is no more singular statesman or person in the history of American politics than John Randolph of Roanoke. Eccentric in the extreme, volatile, and often ill-tempered, this Saint Michael of the South, this scourge of corruption, was also capable of passionate attachments to his friends, his slaves, and his country, that is Virginia. The same man whose piercing gaze…

John Devanny
June 2, 2015

Should the South Survive? Blog Post

This essay served as the introduction to Why the South Will Survive(University of Georgia Press, 1981). OF THE MAKING of books about the South there is no end. This one differs from most in at least one respect—its unembarrassed embrace of the notion that the South is a national asset, a priceless and irreplaceable treasure that must be conserved. The…

Clyde Wilson
April 29, 2015

M. E. Bradford, The Agrarian Aquinas Blog Post

I have called M.E. Bradford the Agrarian Aquinas. He did not write a Summa, but his work as a whole enriched and carried into new territory the message of I’ll Take My Stand on a broad front of literature, history, and political thought. He came at a crucial time when Richard Weaver had passed his peak of influence and the…

Clyde Wilson
February 4, 2015

John Taylor of Caroline: Liberal, Radical, and Reactionary Blog Post

Part V of a Five Part Series.  Part I, II, III, and IV. 1. Taylor as a Liberal “Individualist” Taylor writes that society not made up of individuals is a pointless abstraction: ‘Society exclusively of individuals, is an ideal being, as metaphysical as the idea of a triangle. If a number of people should inclose themselves within a triangle, they…

Joseph R. Stromberg
December 10, 2014

The Political Economy of John Taylor of Caroline Blog Post

Part III of a Five Part Series. Part I, Part II. 1. Republicanism and Liberalism Revisited As noted previously, 18th-century Anglo-American opposition writers employed several political languages. One of these, classical republicanism, asserted reciprocal causal relations between power and property such that a republic secures stability and liberty by way of a “mixed constitution” resting on a broad class of…

Joseph R. Stromberg
November 6, 2014

Small Is Beautiful Blog Post

When I first heard of the topic “Small is Beautiful,” I thought of the wonderful motto of Chilton Williamson’s friend Edward Abbey: “Growth is the Enemy of Progress.” Abbey went right to the heart of the matter. The false but pervasive premise of American life is that progress and growth are the same thing and are defined and justified by…

Clyde Wilson
October 2, 2014

John Taylor: Republicanism, Liberty, and Union Blog Post

Part 1 of a Five Part Series 1. The Relevance of John Taylor John Taylor of Caroline (1753-1824) has a secure, if minor, place in the history of American political thought. Charles A. Beard considered him “the philosopher and statesman of agrarianism” and “the most systematic thinker” of the Jeffersonian Republican party. Indeed, Beard’s writing on Taylor, early in the…

Joseph R. Stromberg
September 12, 2014

Can the South Survive? Blog Post

(I’ll Take My Stand 75th anniversary conference, Franklin, Tennessee) The Twelve Southerners have been justly praised for their powers of prophecy. In reading ITMS once more after several years, it struck me that their description of the unhappy tendency toward the massification of American life and mind—what they called industrialism—is even more precisely accurate in 2005 than it was in…

Clyde Wilson
June 11, 2014

Whistlin’ Dixie Loud Enough to Brag Blog Post

Many music fans believe Southern rock died in 1977 when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane crashed in the Mississippi woods. Certainly, there were Southern bands that had some commercial success afterward—Molly Hatchet, .38 Special, Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams, Jr.—but the Southern sound quickly disappeared from mainstream rock music and was replaced by the pop-driven scene out of Los Angeles and New York….

Brion McClanahan
May 30, 2014

Whistlin’ Dixie Loud Enough to Brag Blog Post

Many music fans believe Southern rock died in 1977 when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane crashed in the Mississippi woods. Certainly, there were Southern bands that had some commercial success afterward—Molly Hatchet, .38 Special, Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams, Jr.—but the Southern sound quickly disappeared from mainstream rock music and was replaced by the pop-driven scene out of Los Angeles and New York….

Brion McClanahan
May 30, 2014

‘Counsellors That Feelingly Persuade Me What I Am:’ Jefferson and Fletcher on Education Blog Post

In an age such as ours—beset by the conceit that the noblest political act is individual self-actualization—any philosophic discussion of education will be tenuous and fragile. True, our time has witnessed heated debates over educational policy—over the processes through which public schools are funded, over the criteria by which educators’ performance is evaluated, over the students injured by our current…

Jefferson Viridi
April 15, 2014

Building the Fiddle: Prologue to a Book of Poems about Louisiana and the South Blog Post

on Driskill Hill, north Louisiana “Throw out the radio and take down the fiddle from the wall” Andrew Lytle, “The Hind Tit” I’ll Take My Stand (1930) for fellow southern poet Jim Kibler When daylight ends and silence minds the fields Of stars and corn, late summer’s bumper yields, I work, building a fiddle true and good, Wood shorn from…

David Middleton
April 3, 2014