Tag

New South

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Deplorables

I have lived for more than half a century in a region of Lexington County, South Carolina, known as “the Dutch Fork.” So called because it was settled in the early 1700s by German (Deutsch) farmers looking for good soil. “Fork” because it  begins  in the fork of the Broad and Saluda rivers. The original settler families are still there,…
Clyde Wilson
May 20, 2024
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The Second Battle of Atlanta

My brother and I have often fantasized about combining western North Carolina (my birthplace and my extended family’s home since the 1820’s), eastern Tennessee, and north Georgia into a new state.  What a stronghold of conservatism she would be!  We had always thought that Atlanta, the largest metropolitan area in the South, would be the economic hub of our new…
Philip Dickey, MD
May 14, 2024
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The Death of Bully

Oh to be here. Alabama College in the middle of January with the Christmas dances rested up from and the Valentine’s dance at Mississippi State yet to come. A joy. The girls down the hall bragging about their dates but a better one to shut them down. Charles. Tall, dark, and handsome even if he is not six foot three.…
Sarah B. Guest Perry
January 27, 2023
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Vendetta Over Alabama

Originally published at barelyablog.com In the mid-1950s my family arrived in Athens, Alabama, I being eleven, my father a mathematician working at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in nearby Huntsville. Athens was small, the county seat of Limestone County. The town square had the courthouse in the middle with the statue of a Confederate soldier and a Baptist church. The…
Fred Reed
September 7, 2022
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The Lost Cause of Conservatism

The history of political parties in America is as old as the United States itself and while the seeds of England’s Whig and Tory Parties goes back to 1679, those in America even predated the rise of most such factions in Europe by several decades. However, for half a century many of America’s founding fathers, particularly those in the South,…
John Marquardt
July 13, 2022
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Til Hazel’s Virginia

On March 15, John T. “Til” Hazel Jr. died in Broad Run, Fauquier County, Virginia. There’s no reason why you should necessarily know the name, though if you have spent any time in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., you have witnessed first-hand his tremendous influence. Joel Garreau in his 1992 book Edge City: Life on the New Frontier…
Casey Chalk
April 1, 2022
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The Old South and the New

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
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Conservative as “Defender of Liberty”

In 1960, the great Southern political philosopher Richard Weaver penned an essay titled “Conservatism and Libertarianism: The Common Ground.” Most people considered Weaver to be a “conservative,” and he accepted the term, but he also thought American conservatives and libertarians had much in common and should work together for a common goal: liberty. The current internal warfare in both conservative…
Brion McClanahan
May 7, 2021
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Contemplation in an Evil Time

Written in the Year 2021 Hampton, our stalwart Wade,             As wily as Odysseus in warAs full of rage for truth in time of fraud             As any celebrated Greek,He saw his son fall at his feet,             Kissed him a hard farewellIn manner Hector or Odysseus             Would bring to tears,Turned back to battlefield             Which he controlledAs full of righteous angerAs Achilles ever…
James Everett Kibler
April 30, 2021
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A Yankee Who Understood Southerners

“Dear me, what’s the good of being a Southerner?” asks one of the characters on the very first page of Henry James’ nineteenth-century novel The Bostonians. Though this question may not be the most important theme of James’ widely-hailed book, the idiosyncrasies and paradoxes of the South serve as a backdrop for the entire story. Indeed, James, a native New…
Casey Chalk
March 9, 2021
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For Dove and Flag: Grandpa Connelly’s Mules

I hope Grandfather fed them wellFrom out his meager store of cornOr fodder pulled by Mother'Neath a blazing autumn sun--So hot sometimes she saidThat she and sister sickenedTo the vomit stage, and tender armsWere sliced by leaves' fierce razor edge. I know they had warm winter's barnand stabled shelter from both heat and cold.They sometimes got a treat of pea-vine…
James Everett Kibler
February 15, 2021
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Fast Money

On a late November evening in 1970, I rolled into the “Big Easy” on an L&N freight with my pockets jingling. Hitching a ride to Canal Street - and letting the morrow “take thought for the things of itself,” as the Scriptures say - I checked into the Sheraton Delta Hotel, got myself cleaned up, then indulged myself in a…
H.V. Traywick, Jr.
February 12, 2021
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What Can Be Done?

The year 2020 was brutal for the friends of the South.  Monuments and statues of Southerners, not just Confederates, disappeared from the urban areas of the Southand beyond.  The lockdowns imposed by the authorities weighed heavily upon the region’s and the country’s remaining small farms and small businesses.  In larger urban areas such as Atlanta, what the lockdown did not…
John Devanny
February 3, 2021
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Followin’ the Cotton

(Mrs. Holley was the third generation of a Southern family in California.  She wrote this on being able to return permanently to the South.) The cotton fields grow row after row, we saw them from Grandad's back seat,The twins and I arms and legs stuck together in the dawg days summer heat. The cotton fields grow row after row, we…
Ruth Ann Holley
February 2, 2021
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Who Owns America Now?

From the 2020 Abbeville Institute conference on "Who Owns America?" October 16-17, 2020 in Charleston, SC. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5G4NWbkjJA&feature=youtu.be
John Devanny
December 28, 2020
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The South in Retreat

Editor's Note: This lecture was delivered at our 2019 Summer School on the New South. Carey Roberts explores the relationship between the Old Whig faction in the South--e.g. Alexander H. Stephens--and the New Democrats who controlled the region after the War. Roberts concludes that the Jeffersonian vision of America, dominant in the antebellum South, was bulldozed by the Old Whigs…
Carey Roberts
December 16, 2020
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The New South

Edited by Robert Hoyle. A Discourse delivered at the Annual Commencement of Hampden-Sydney College, June 15, 1882, before the Philanthropic and Union Literary Societies. Young Gentlemen of the Philanthropic and Union Societies, and Ladies and Gentlemen of the Audience: You will credit my expression of sincere embarrassment at this time when you consider that I am attempting a species of…
Robert Lewis Dabney
November 25, 2020
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Damn Right You Should Listen to the Blues

“The blues ain’t nothin’ but a good man feelin’ bad,” according to “Negro Blues,” penned in 1913. There’s no question about the “feelin’ bad” part. The genre is defined by its twelve-bar tune with the distinctive flatted third and seventh notes on the major scale (producing the “blue” note) coupled with lyrics of misery, injustice, and even sometimes self-loathing. One…
Casey Chalk
September 9, 2020
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The Battle of Athens, Tennessee

On August 1, 1946, a group of Southern World War Two veterans in Athens, Tennessee, fought and won the only successful armed insurrection in the United States since the War of Independence. These brave men embodied that irrepressible Southern spirit, that martial valor and moral sublimity that suffused the souls of Dixie and her children for generations upon generations, stretching…
Neil Kumar
September 3, 2020
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The Colored Sacred Harp

I have written here before about the history and mechanics of Sacred Harp singing, shape-notes, and Singing Schools.  James Kibler has delivered some truly excellent talks about Singing Billy Walker and the origins of Amazing Grace as an original tune called New Britain in Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, and I strongly urge you to listen to his presentations.  Listen…
Tom Daniel
July 29, 2020
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The Strange Career of Segregation

In the beginning, there was no segregation, certainly not in the sense that we commonly use that term today. Consider in evidence our Southern distinctiveness, which is rooted in a folk culture compounded of black and white influences: our modes of speech; our rich cuisines and rites of conviviality; our varied and original musicality; our arts and crafts; our story-telling…
Jack Trotter
April 1, 2020
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Rebuilding from the Rubble

‘ . . . you know onlyA heap of broken images . . .’--T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land I.  Destruction The description of the South as a land that has fallen into desolation is familiar to many.  Sometimes this historical reality is presented to us in unfamiliar ways, however.  For instance, in his short story ‘Jericho, Jericho, Jericho’, originally…
Walt Garlington
January 29, 2020
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Southern Populism and the South’s Agrarian Identity

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
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Don’t Remove Confederate Monuments

This essay was presented at the 2019 Abbeville Institute Summer School on the New South. In 1965 Texas novelist William Humphrey wrote: If the Civil War is more alive to the Southerner than the Northerner it is because all of the past is, and this is so because the Southerner has a sense of having been present there himself in the person…
Philip Leigh
August 30, 2019
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Strom Thurmond, the “Dixiecrats,” and Southern Identity

This essay was presented at our 2019 Summer School on The New South. James Strom Thurmond, or Strom, was born on December 5, 1902 in Edgefield, South Carolina. This historic county was also the home of Francis Hugh Wardlaw, the author of the South Carolina Ordinance of Secession, and Preston Brooks, who caned Charles Sumner in 1856. These three are…
Michael Martin
August 21, 2019
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Where the Grapes of Wrath are Stored

This essay was presented at our 2019 Summer School on the New South. Fundamentalism is often viewed as the most Southern of religions. Yet this is not so.  It was an alien seed planted in ground razed by war and harrowed by Reconstruction.  The harrowing, or Reconstruction if one prefers, was not merely an updating of the constitutional and political…
John Devanny
August 14, 2019
Review Posts

Punished with Poverty

A review of Punished with Poverty: The Suffering South-Prosperity to Poverty & the Continuing Struggle (Shotwell, 2016) by James Ronald and Walter Donald Kennedy This is one of the most important works of American history that  has appeared in many a year.  If enough Southern people could absorb the lesson of this book, it would bring about a complete reorientation…
Clyde Wilson
August 13, 2019
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No Eulogies

In I Kings 21, we see that Naboth did not feel that he had the right to sell the family land no matter how much money King Ahab offered. The land was not his except as a trust from his forefathers to the generations yet unborn." ~~RJ Rushdoony We have come to the place were every year another noble Southern…
Robert Hoyle
August 8, 2019
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Economic Reconstruction

Mr. Leigh presented this paper at the 2019 Abbeville Institute Summer School on The New South. Historians have reinterpreted Civil War Reconstruction over the past fifty years. Shortly before the Centennial it was commonly believed that the chief aim of the Republican-dominated Congress was to ensure lasting Party control of the federal government by creating a reliable voting bloc in…
Philip Leigh
August 5, 2019
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Dabney’s Warning for the New South

Robert Lewis Dabney (1820–1898) defended the South both during and after the War Between the States. During the war, this professor of theology left his work at Union Theological Seminary to serve as chaplain for the Confederacy in 1861 and then as chief of staff to General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson in 1862. After the war, Dabney made it one of…
Zachary Garris
July 12, 2019
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Say It Ain’t So, Joe!

Joe Biden is at it again.  The longtime senator from Delaware, former Vice President of the United States, and current Democratic presidential nomination front-runner recently confirmed his reputation as a human gaffe machine by admitting, in public, that he maintained cordial relations with Southern segregationist colleagues in the Senate forty-five years ago.  After acknowledging that he’s “old-fashioned” compared to “the…
Houston Middleton
July 1, 2019
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A Crisis of Confidence

Pat Caddell died on February 16. Several major news outlets ran stories about his influence in both the Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump campaigns. Everyone understood Caddell's role as the voice of the "outsider." A colleague at the College of Charleston, where Caddell served in the Political Science department for the last couple of years, said that Caddell hated everything…
Brion McClanahan
February 25, 2019
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In Search of the Real Southern Democrat

It was an indelible moment, one that has resonated with me up to the present day. My father and I had gone to whatever permutation of Wal-Mart existed at that time in Union County in late 1982.  (Maybe it was still Edwards then, maybe Big K; the chronology is no longer clear so many years later.)  He was a supervisor…
Randall Ivey
February 21, 2019
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The South and Germany

I hope that no one who reads this paper will suppose that I have any feeling in the matter. I am only correcting errors in Northern writers, and I trust that, after more than half a century since the war between the States, this may be done without exciting any sectional bias. On the other hand, I have no idea…
Lyon G. Tyler
January 25, 2019
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Reconstructing the New South

“Nashville’s going to be a progressive, diverse city and there’s nothing that you can do about it. Millennials moving from up north and foreigners immigrating from across the border have changed the city’s population and thus changed the city’s way of life – for the better. Nashville isn’t a Southern city anymore and is never going to be a Southern…
James Rutledge Roesch
October 1, 2018
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When New Yorkers Cheered Dixie

On October 31, 1910—seven years after the Wright Brother’s first airplane flight of less than a minute—seventy-five thousand spectators gathered at Belmont Park to watch a day of competition among pioneering aviators. Events culminated with a thirty-six mile round trip race between Belmont Park to the Statue of Liberty. Only three aviators attempted the trip, which had about one million…
Philip Leigh
September 7, 2018
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Silent Sam and Me

In September of 1961, I left my job at a basket factory in Wilmington, North Carolina and hitch-hiked up to Chapel Hill to become a student there. I followed in the path of UNC’s very first student, a boy named Hinton James, who had famously walked those roads up from Pender County back in 1789. As befits the first student…
Ben Jones
August 22, 2018
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The Last republican President

Jimmy Carter may have been the last Jeffersonian to be president. A recent article in the Washington Post labeled him the "Un-Celebrity President." In either case, Carter is a reflection of a people and a place. He is the most authentic man elected president since Calvin Coolidge, and like Coolidge a true Christian gentleman. At the very minimum, Carter represented the…
Brion McClanahan
August 20, 2018
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Lead Belly’s Southern Roots

Sometime around 1939, Lead Belly sang the song Daddy I’m Coming Back to You, which features the interesting lyrics: “I’m dreaming tonight of an old Southern town, the best friend I ever had...I’ve had my way, but now I’ll stay, I long for you and for home.” The song was a tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, who is often considered one…
Michael Martin
August 3, 2018
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Southern Themes in The Outsiders

S.E. Hinton published The Outsiders in 1967 at the age of eighteen. It’s a coming of age story that is widely read within schools and takes place in Oklahoma in 1965. The novel focuses on two rival groups, the Greasers and Socs, who are divided by their social status. The Greasers are described as wilder, having longer hair, and being…
Michael Martin
April 20, 2018
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Okinawa Confederate Flag

Five days ago I posted an article citing Eugene Sledge’s With the Old Breed that stated the first American flag to fly over the conquered Japanese fortress at Shuri Castle during the World War II battle of Okinawa was the Confederate battle flag. Sledge, who was present, wrote: Earlier in the morning . . . Marines had attacked eastward into the rains of…
Philip Leigh
April 6, 2018
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The Arkansas Traveler

It was Tuesday evening, September 16th, and people all across America were settling down for the first performance of a new CBS comedy and music program.  Rather than watching the show on fifty-inch TV screens with names like Sony, Samsung and Panasonic, since the year was 1941, they would be gathered in front of AM radio sets bearing such then…
John Marquardt
April 5, 2018
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Trump’s Aluminum Tariff: A Teachable Moment

President Trump’s proposed ten-percent tariff on refined aluminum yields a teachable moment for Southern history students. Historical analysis of the industry reveals an echo of the Northern tariff policies that angered Southerners during much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when the South was generally a raw materials exporter and feedstock supplier to Northern manufacturers. Tariffs during the era usually…
Philip Leigh
March 30, 2018
Review Posts

Southern Horizons

A review of Southern Horizons: The Autobiography of Thomas Dixon (IWV Publishing, 1994). The name of Thomas Dixon today is little remembered, North or South, but seventy years ago Dixon was one of the most prominent and controversial public figures in the country. The discovery and publication of his autobiography ought to be considered a significant event in the cultural…
Stephen P. Smith
March 20, 2018
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The Plundered South

Address by Sam H. Jones, Governor of Louisiana to the Southern Farm Bureau Training School, Monroe, La., August 18, 1943 The history of mankind relates many stories where superior military force has conquered nations of superior civilization. In the wake of overwhelming brute force the great citadels of culture and economic and social progress have fallen never to rise again.…
Sam H. Jones
January 31, 2018
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The Historical Folly of “Nothing but Race.”

At the base of most of the ongoing political debates currently raging in the United Sates there are always, it seems, deeper questions, more philosophical and more historical contexts that need to be examined—what I would call “legacy issues.” Oftentimes assumptions are made or are disseminated by many self-proclaimed defenders of our traditions—by those “conservative apologists”—that bear little relationship to…
Boyd Cathey
September 20, 2017
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Lincoln, Crony Capitalism, and Populism

Lincoln’s War established a permanent, centralized regime of crony capitalism for the formerly federal U.S. In the centralized U.S., real power is in the hands of big business and big banks that use government to protect and increase their own private profit and wealth. Lincoln implemented Henry Clay’s “American Plan”, without giving it a name. At the time, however, free…
Norman Black
August 11, 2017
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New South Voices of the Southern Tradition

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
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Robert Lewis Dabney and the New South Creed

Only a few prominent Southerners actively questioned the call for the rapid industrialization of the South or pointed to the broader implications involved in such a policy after the Confederacy's defeat in 1865. Of those who rejected what came to be called "the New South Creed," Robert Lewis Dabney stands out as the most significant and the most deserving of…
Boyd Cathey
July 14, 2017
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Reconsidering Richard B. Russell

There was a time both before and after the War when the South dominated the United States Congress. In the antebellum period, James Madison, John C. Calhoun, John Randolph of Roanoke, and Henry Clay placed their mark on congressional debates, and several other Southerners ranked among the best statesmen of the era. But most Americans, even those in the South, don't realize that by the mid-twentieth century, Southerners…
Brion McClanahan
July 12, 2017
Review Posts

Poor but Proud

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
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Bernard Baruch: Son of the South

On the morning of July 5, 1880, Colonel E.B.C. Cash and Colonel William M. Shannon faced each other with pistols near Du Bose's bridge in Darlington County, S,C. At a word of command, Shannon fired quickly, splashing the muddy ground at the feet of his adversary. Colonel Cash, an experienced duelist with a sinister reputation, coolly took aim and fired.…
Charles Goolsby
March 24, 2017
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H.L. Mencken and the South

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
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Claude Kitchin

This piece was originally published at the North Carolina History Project and is reprinted by permission. Claude Kitchin represented North Carolina in the U.S. House during the early 20th century and served as Speaker of the House during the First World War. Though he was a Democrat, he is remembered for risking his political career to oppose President Woodrow Wilson…
Richard M. Gamble
October 21, 2016
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NASCAR’s Slow Ride to Nowhere

The thrill is gone, and the numbers prove it. After decades of phenomenal growth, NASCAR’s popularity has hit the wall. At Bristol Motor Speedway a couple of years ago, Jeff Gordon told reporters he couldn’t believe the rows of empty seats. Where were the cheering fans who normally packed the stands and infield? Attendance is down at NASCAR races, and no…
Mike C. Tuggle
August 19, 2016
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The Art of Ugliness, Part I

Editor's Note: This piece was originally published at The Fleming Foundation. This piece appeared  in the second issue (1980) of the Southern Partisan, which Clyde Wilson and I (along with John Shelton Reed, Sam Francis, and Chris Kopff) had created.  I have corrected a number of errors--including the quotation from the film version of Gone with the Wind--made several small  verbal…
Thomas Fleming
August 18, 2016
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The Vanishing Republic of Our Fathers

The New South is one of the more misunderstood periods in American history. The contemporary narrative generally describes the period and its leaders as dense political hacks riding the coattails of Northern business elites. They were "wannabe" statesmen whose political ideology was singularly tied to race. This perspective is clouded by present conditions and our own short-sighted infatuation with racial politics. Historians…
Brion McClanahan
August 11, 2016
Review Posts

Instant Grits and Plastic Wrapped Crackers: Southern Culture and Regional Development

This essay was originally published in Louis D. Rubin, Jr., The American South: Portrait of a Culture, 1979, 27-37. In 1928, an unusually far-sighted southerner named Broadus Mitchell pondered the implications of the South's impending modernization, wondering "whether these great industrial developments will banish the personality of the South ... or whether the old spirit will actuate the new performance." "Will…
John Shelton Reed
June 30, 2016
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Huey Long’s Potlikker Recipe

In Louisiana history and folklore, Huey Pierce Long occupies a very special niche.  To be depressingly brief, he was born and reared in north-central Louisiana’s hardscrabble Winn Parish where, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, contrariness, populism and socialism were dominant.  Charismatic and unscrupulous but unquestionably brilliant, Huey secured a law degree and entered politics.  With a knack…
Roger Busbice
January 28, 2016
Review Posts

No Lost Cause

A speech delivered in Richmond, VA, February 22, 1896 at the opening of the Museum of the Confederacy. Ladies of the Confederate Memorial Literary Society, Friends, and Fellow-Confederates, Men and Women: To-day commemorates the thirty-fifth anniversary of the inauguration of the last rebel President and the birthday of the first. It commemorates an epoch in the grandest struggle for liberty…
Bradley Tyler Johnson
November 24, 2015
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King Kudzu

“Cotton isn’t king in the South anymore … Kudzu is king!”                Channing Cole, Atlanta Constitution The mysterious disappearance of England’s first settlement in North America, Sir Walter Raleigh’s  “Lost Colony” which was established in 1584 on Roanoke Island in what is now North Carolina, may never be solved, but it is safe to assume that starvation must have played…
John Marquardt
November 5, 2015
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People Along the Way: Dan Smoot

Dan Smoot never considered himself to be a Southern conservative, though he was born and reared in Missouri and spent his early adult life in Texas.  He was one of the leading conservative voices in the 1960s and hosted a weekly television program titled "The Dan Smoot Report." There were once principled men who were willing to carry the conservative…
Brion McClanahan
August 20, 2015
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Caitlyn Jenner and the New South

It is not necessary to detail Bruce Jenner’s transformation into Caitlyn Jenner. Suffice it to say that we have been informed that Bruce’s inner self was at war with his physical self. With the assistance of modern medicine, Bruce was physically modified into Caitlyn. This is not to say that Bruce the male was transformed into Caitlyn a female. Nevertheless,…
Marshall DeRosa
July 2, 2015
Review Posts

The Old and the New South

Delivered as the commencement address for South Carolina College, 1887. What theme is most fitting for me present to the young men of the South, at this celebration of the South Carolina Col­lege ? What shall one, whose course is nearly run, say to those whose career is hardly begun ? In my retrospect I deeply sym­pathize with you in…
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The Old South,The New South, and The Neutered South

The phrase, "The New South", appears in the 1886 speech that Atlanta newspaper editor, Henry Grady, delivered to the New England Society in New York. In fact, the origination of the phrase is often attributed to the former Atlanta editor. Reconstruction was only a few years in the past when Grady addressed the New England Society. The South was struggling…
Gail Jarvis
April 6, 2015
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Is Disparaging the South Becoming Passe?

The lack of interest in the film "Selma" by both the public and the film industry is a healthy sign. It is an indication that the public is growing tired of this particular movie formula (often called the "Mississippi Burning Syndrome") ; portrayals of racist, bigoted Southerners from fifty years ago. This movie formula has been a powerful opinion-molding device,…
Gail Jarvis
February 6, 2015
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Southern Discomfort

Late in August 2001 my wife Barbara and I visited the classic Southern city of Charleston, South Carolina. We walked around the old town and observed many historic places. This resulted in the following article I wrote in an opinion column ‘County Lines’ published by the defunct Carolina-Kure Beach Weekly News under my pen-name Sam Stark.  I’ve edited the original…
R.E. Smith, Jr.
February 5, 2015
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Robert E. Lee, Southern Heritage, Media Bias, and Al Sharpton

This piece originally appeared on the Canada Free Press. As you can probably surmise by my detailed caption, this article is a collection of random thoughts. It is typical at the beginning of a new year for people to reflect soberly on the state of events, and make optimistic resolutions and predictions for the future. Although I will try to…
Gail Jarvis
January 19, 2015
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Ten Things About Alabama You Might Not Know

I’m still a little chapped about that recent story from Chicago where it’s considered racist to listen to Lynyrd Skynrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” As a child growing up in Alabama, we were always made aware of our troubled past, but we preferred to focus on the positive aspects of our beloved home state as much as possible. Whenever one of…
Tom Daniel
January 9, 2015
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American Conservatives Do Not Understand the South

The cover story of the January/February 2015 issue of The American Conservative titled ‘A Nation of Prisoners’ deals with the high rate of incarceration in the United States. The cover story was yet another opportunity for Washington centered conservatives to remind Southerners of our proper place upon the “stools of everlasting repentance.”  The fact at a national “conservative” journal that…
James Ronald Kennedy
December 30, 2014
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Imagined Utopias of Tolerance

Malcolm X once famously observed that the violence and racial strife in America was indicative of “the chickens coming home to roost.” For once in my life, I completely agree with Malcolm X. Except I would substitute the words “Yankee Land” for “America,” because the race-related protests and outrages I see on my television are not located in Alabama or…
Tom Daniel
December 29, 2014
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Tom Watson Brown

Tom Watson Brown was an icon of the Southern tradition and one of its strongest defenders. He was a respected attorney, businessman, civic leader, philanthropist, and, in addition, a very learned man who possessed a library of over 10,000 volumes. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton with a degree in history, and studied law at Harvard. He was also…
Donald Livingston
November 27, 2014
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It’s In The Mud

I have written before here at Abbeville about the legendary music that came out of the Muscle Shoals area in the 60’s and 70’s, and that was before I’d seen the excellent new 2013 documentary film called Muscle Shoals. The film centers mostly on Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios, and his influence on everything that happened locally and…
Tom Daniel
November 26, 2014
Review Posts

Twenty Million Gone: The Southern Diaspora, 1900—1970

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yKesnaFYUw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DkcQ09h2Vo That is Bobby Bare on Detroit and Dwight Yoakam on Los Angeles. Sometimes there are significant movements in history that go unnoticed because they take place slowly over a long period of time and are marked by no major event. The Southern Diaspora of the 20th century is such a movement. Twelve million white and eight million black…
Clyde Wilson
November 10, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Small Is Beautiful

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
Review Posts

“In All the Ancient Circles”: Tourism and the Decline of Charleston’s Elite Families

Few American cities have been so meticulously studied, admired or—for that matter—vilified as has Charleston. There are substantial reasons for this. During the Colonial period Charleston, or Charles Town as it was then, rapidly emerged as the urban center of a plantation culture that would, by the middle of the 18th century, spread across the Southern states to become a…
Jack Trotter
September 30, 2014
Blog

Fire-Cured Dark Leaf

Cotton and tobacco. For years those two agricultural products were as synonymous with the South as sweet tea and grits. Cotton still is, but tobacco has fallen out of favor, though Southerners still love it and use tobacco products in greater numbers per capita than any other people in America. Tobacco, not cotton, was king in Virginia throughout much of…
Brion McClanahan
August 15, 2014
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“I Make American Citizens and Run Cotton Mills to Pay the Expenses.”

The Callaway Gardens visitors center in Pine Mountain, Georgia shows a film explaining the history of the Callaway family, their conservation efforts, and the Gardens itself. At one point, the film directly refutes the conservation ethos made popular by Gifford Pinchot and Teddy Roosevelt, namely that private individuals ruin land while governments protect and preserve it. The Gardens are hailed…
Brion McClanahan
May 5, 2014