Tag

Southern Culture

Blog

Social Time in Old Virginia

Editor's Note: Often considered one of the more important "Lost Cause" post-bellum narratives, Letitia Burwell's A Girl's Life in Virginia Before the War offers a captivating glimpse of life in the Old South. Her grandfather had been Thomas Jefferson's private secretary and her father served in the Virginia legislature ten times. Americans often marvel at the social mores and customs…
Letitia M. Burwell
November 10, 2021
Blog

American Monuments

Editor's Note: Former Abbeville Institute summer school student Jon Harris and his Last Stand Studios produced this original documentary about American monuments and the ongoing American iconoclasm. It features Abbeville Institute scholars Donald Livingston, Brion McClanahan, Bill Wilson, Philip Leigh, and Kirkpatrick Sale. From the website: "Our next project, American Monument, will explore the good, true, and beautiful qualities represented…
Abbeville Institute
November 8, 2021
Blog

Why Do They Hate The South?

Dr. Paul Gottfried's speech at the annual Confederate Flag Day commemoration in the historic 1840 North Carolina State Capitol House of Representatives chamber on March 3, 2007 is remarkably prescient and topical for us today. Much history has passed in the last fourteen years, much of it very damaging and destructive of those Southern and Confederate traditions and inheritance we…
Boyd Cathey
November 5, 2021
Blog

Remembering John C. Calhoun

Though John C. Calhoun was a distinguished American statesman and thinker, he is little appreciated in his own country. Calhoun rose to prominence on the eve of the War of 1812 as a “war hawk” in the House of Representatives and was the Hercules who labored untiringly in the war effort. While still a congressman, he was the chief architect…
John Devanny
October 26, 2021
Blog

Poor Poe

At the University of Virginia, Room No.13 on the fabled Lawn is reserved as a permanent shrine to Edgar Allan Poe, who reportedly lodged in the room during his brief time on campus (or “the grounds,” as we say). One wonders what Poe, though a proud Virginian, would think about this honor — he was not terribly happy with his…
Casey Chalk
October 25, 2021
Blog

Tradition and Culture

Our farm was a broadly covered area of green stalks, blanketing the ground for hundreds of acres all around. In a slow-motion explosion, day-by-day, week-by-week, the land revealed the white birth of cotton, the king crop of the Mississippi Delta. There were great vines of honeysuckle on one side of the house. The aroma seemed more noticeable in the open…
Paul H. Yarbrough
October 21, 2021
Blog

Our Solemn Task as Southerners

  Over the past several years I have been writing essays for several publications and media outlets regarding Southern and Confederate history and heritage, and, in particular, about the growing assault on the symbols of that history and heritage. None of what I wrote—nothing I put into print—should have seemed that unusual or radical. My thoughts and observations could have…
Boyd Cathey
October 18, 2021
Blog

Beautiful Losers

When T.S. Eliot said that there are no lost causes because there are no won causes, he probably was not thinking of American conservatism. Nearly sixty years after the New Deal, the American right is no closer to challenging its fundamental premises and machinery than when Old Rubberlegs first started priming the pump and scheming to take the United States…
Sam Francis
October 13, 2021
Blog

Eminent Southrons and Cinematic Slander

This essay was originally published in the August 1995 issue of Chronicles magazine. Some folks have been kind enough to notice my absence from these pages, and a few have been even kinder and expressed regret at it. The fact is that my wife Dale and I are working on a book. It will be called 1001 Things Everyone Should…
John Shelton Reed
October 12, 2021
Blog

Steppin Back

The locusts descend upon the land. Not the literal ones, but a kind much worse, in my estimation. The urbanites, long disenchanted with the social upheaval of late, have begun to migrate to the country. My home county, Newton County, Arkansas, is sadly not immune, though we are largely blessed. Rugged and in the remote mountains of northwest Arkansas, my…
Travis Holt
October 7, 2021
Blog

Once Upon a Time

The following is an excerpt from an article by a man named Troy Cauley. It is titled “Hindsight” and was first printed in the Southern Partisan over 30 years ago. If one can appreciate anything beyond “modernity” as to life’s heart such as: family, tradition, manners, love, friendship and at the same time cease worshipping gold, silver, technology, “industrial revolutions”…
Paul H. Yarbrough
October 1, 2021
Blog

The Voices

We’ve all heard some cliché joke about ‘voices in our head’, usually posted over and over again on Facebook or quoted by someone who hasn’t quite figured out just how tired that concept is. But this isn’t about some comic concept of ‘voices in one’s head’, but rather something that has haunted me for some time. I long ago accepted…
Travis Holt
September 23, 2021
Blog

What Makes This Musician Great?–The Balfa Brothers

In a significant departure for this series, the 9th installment of What Makes This Musician Great will focus on a band instead of one musician, and more appropriately, a band of brothers.  The Balfa Brothers were a Cajun band of real-life brothers Rodney, Dewey, Will, Harry, and Burkeman.  They learned music from their father, who was a Louisiana sharecropper, and…
Tom Daniel
September 22, 2021
Blog

A Good Southerner is Hard to Find

Perhaps it was after watching yet another film depicting the South as irredeemably backwards and bigoted. Or perhaps it was after reading yet another round of commentaries denigrating Robert E. Lee because Lee was a traitor (so were the American revolutionaries, technically), a defender of a slave owning society (as most societies were before the nineteenth century), and ultimately a…
Casey Chalk
September 21, 2021
Blog

I Will Make My Lineage Known

Regarding Afghanistan. There is nothing to say that has not been said better by those, both believers and heretics, better versed in the theology of the “American century,” the “rules-based world order” over which the “indispensable nation” has presided since the largely peaceful dismantling of the godless authority in Russia. And with what such shambolic and shameful consequence: the collapse…
Enoch Cade
September 20, 2021
Blog

Gaul Was Divided in Three

Editor's note: The following story was told by "Private" John Allen, a Congressmen from Mississippi from 1885-1901. "I want to tell you of the greatest legal victory of my life," said Allen once to a group of congressmen. "It was down in Tupelo, just after the war. I was at that time a practicing lawyer—that is, I practiced when I…
John M. Allen
September 3, 2021
Blog

The Carolina Couch Controversy

Originally published in the March 1998 issue of Reason magazine. Local busybodies target the front porch. In the small-town American South porch sitting was once a nearly universal pastime. As a place for sipping tea or Co’ Cola, smoking or dipping, telling stories, courting, and watching lightning bugs, the front porch was unsurpassed. Southern porches have been celebrated in song…
John Shelton Reed
August 30, 2021
Blog

Staying Home

Americans have a weird relationship with their roots. Most folk want to be from somewhere, but they often don’t want to be in that somewhere. As someone who has unusually old roots in Northern Virginia — perhaps one of the most transient parts of the country — I think I might witness this more than most. Few people who live…
Casey Chalk
August 23, 2021
Blog

You Lost. Get Over It

The opponents of Southern heritage often repeat the trope: “You lost, get over it.” One of them told me that it was “ironic” that we honor both the US and CS flags. But of course, the postbellum states of the CSA were annexed into the reunited USA. They were forced back into the Union. Therefore, thirteen of the stars on…
Rev. Larry Beane
August 17, 2021
Blog

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
Blog

What It Means to be a Southerner

Editor's Note: In an effort to "explore what is true and valuable in the Southern tradition," we offer an explanation of what it "meant to be a Southerner" in 1958. This raises the questions of what has and has not changed in the South and if themes in this essay can still be applied to the twenty-first century Southerner. This…
Robert Y. Drake
August 3, 2021
Blog

The End of America?

I have a good friend who continually asks me what I think are the prospects for sensible, conservative—that is, normal—folks in these parlous times, what I think will happen to these United States, and particularly, what will happen to the South. In response to his questioning, I can’t give a satisfactory answer, at least one nicely tied-up and tidy like…
Boyd Cathey
August 2, 2021
Blog

How Southerners Committed Cultural and Political Suicide

Many Southerners are familiar with James “Ron” Kennedy and his brother, Walter “Donnie” Kennedy, who are prolific writers and staunch defenders of (what is left of) Southern tradition and heritage. Among the titles of their books are, most notably: The South Was Right! (newly revised edition 2020),  Punished With Poverty: The Suffering South, and  Yankee Empire: Aggressive Abroad and Despotic…
Boyd Cathey
July 19, 2021
Blog

The Happy Land of Cannan

The happy land of Caannan may be a Biblical story, but for some of us, it truly was fact. Growing up on the land my ancestors settled in the 1850s was a true blessing. It gave me common ground, a heritage, a place and, most importantly, a history. My people were among the first white settlers in the 1850s in…
Travis Holt
July 9, 2021
Blog

Defending the West Against the Barbarians

Sometimes readers will ask me: “Why did you write on that? What were you trying to say?” My response has always been that just about everything I attempt to convey, to write, is in some way connected to and comes under a broad heading of “the defense of Western Christian civilization and culture.” Thus, everything, from my staunch defense of Confederate…
Boyd Cathey
June 17, 2021
Blog

A Southern Song, A Southern Heritage–Canceled

“When we talk about the War it is our history we are talking about, it is a part of our identity.  To tell libellous lies about our ancestors is a direct attack on who we are.” —from Lies My Teacher Told Me by Clyde N. Wilson “The Story of Maryland is sad to the last degree.” —Jefferson Davis In the…
J.L. Bennett
June 14, 2021
Blog

Western Civilization-Post Scriptum

I once wrote an article on the problems arising from what I termed “group condemnation.” I believed that in attempting to warn people of dangers lurking in the culture, those who blamed “groups” rather than individuals tended to lose credibility. To speak against the Jews or the blacks or any “group” rather than individuals within those groups often resulted in…
Valerie Protopapas
June 8, 2021
Blog

Academy of Southern Music

My name is Tom Daniel, and I’m a happy guy.  I’m naturally optimistic, and I love talking about all the good things that come from the South.  I get discouraged when I see Southerners who keep falling into that same trap where they only want to talk about the years 1861-1865.  When there are 400 years of Southern culture to…
Tom Daniel
June 1, 2021
Blog

Time

“How time changes everything.” This quote came from the lips of a fairly surprised man of around 80, my dear great-uncle Carl Ray, as we descended into the valley of his childhood.It  had been some four decades or better since he had been around the old home places where he grew into a man. The people who own it now…
Travis Holt
May 28, 2021
Blog

“Aggressive Abroad and Despotic at Home”

Seventy-six years ago, on May 8, 1945, at 2301 hours, Central European Time, World War II in Europe officially ended. Although the war would continue in the Pacific Theatre for several more months, May 8 marked the dramatic end of what was certainly the most horrific and disastrous land war in history. European culture was changed irrevocably. A civilization which…
Boyd Cathey
May 25, 2021
Blog

Listening to Miss Eudora

For Christmas, I gave my granddaughter a compilation of Eudora Welty’s novels. She’s an avid reader and tore into the book as soon as she unwrapped it. The short stories, however, were not included. Yesterday, we drove to a large national bookstore chain ( aka quasi toy store and puzzle shop) to purchase one of Miss Welty’s finest Why I…
Blog

Robert E. Lee: The Educator

Continued from Part 3.  “And of all the officers or men whom I ever knew he came (save one other alone) the nearest in likeness to that classical ideal Chevalier Bayard…And if these, our modern, commercial, mechanical, utilitarian ages, ever did develop a few of these types of male chivalric virtues, which we attribute solely to those 'ages of faith,' Robert E. Lee was…
Earl Starbuck
May 12, 2021
Blog

Carry Me Back to Old Virginny

In the early 1870s, a young pre-law student at Howard College was inspired by classmate and future wife, Mamie Friend. James Alan Bland would listen to the homesick sentiments of Mamie and her home in tidewater Virginia. During a trip to meet Ms. Friend’s family the two sat down together with pen, paper, and a banjo. Bland composed his song…
Blog

Robert E. Lee: The Father

Continued from Part I. “He was a superb specimen of manly grace and elegance…There was about him a stately dignity, calm poise, absolute self-possession, entire absence of self-consciousness, and gracious consideration for all about him that made a combination of character not to be surpassed…His devotion to his invalid wife, who for many years was a martyr to rheumatic gout,…
Earl Starbuck
April 28, 2021
Blog

Beginning with History

Any fool can write history, and many do.  Please do not assume that I mean by this statement to vaunt the “expert” and slight the amateur.  In writing history the amateur is sometimes gifted, and there is no more pestiferous fool than the smug, pretentious “expert” who thinks of his own mind as the repository of ultimate truth.  What a…
Clyde Wilson
March 29, 2021
Blog

Southern Reflections on Being Neighborly

A white house sits on the outskirts of a small town in upstate South Carolina. It is modest in both size and appearance, and rather old, and in front of it next to the highway is a large cross which appears to have taken some money and effort to erect. There is a sign which invites any passerby to stop…
Tom Hervey
March 26, 2021
Blog

I Listen

I read this piece to the Jackson Writers Guild a year ago. Since then, we’ve not been able to meet. Here it is again. A southern writer can collect more stories from a back-porch conversation than from hours of creative writing instruction or a ten-day cruise through the Panama Canal. It’s especially true on Friday night when everybody kicks backs,…
Averyell A. Kessler
March 19, 2021
Blog

Honoring Calhoun

Editor's Note: This speech was delivered before the Senate on March 12, 1910, at the dedication of John C. Calhoun's statue in Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol. Address of Mr. (Henry Cabot) Lodge, of Massachusetts, United States Senate, 1910 Mr. PRESIDENT: When the senior Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Tillman), whose illness we all deplore, did me the…
Henry Cabot Lodge
March 18, 2021
Blog

The Termite Infestation of American History

As part of its campaign to pander to the important and urgent needs of African-Americans with extremely divisive yet ultimately performative identity politics, the Biden-Harris administration has announced that it will resume Barack Obama’s decision in 2015 to remove Andrew Jackson from the twenty-dollar bill and replace him with Harriet Tubman. Jonathan Waldman’s celebratory and condescending column in The Washington…
James Rutledge Roesch
March 12, 2021
Blog

Now Is The Best Time To Be Southern

These past several years, we Americans have been living in an accelerating anti-cultural vortex. Day by day the Yankee juggernaut gains steam. Once content with carpetbombing Hanoi and Baghdad, the Yankees are now taking their civilizational demolition derby back South, where it all began. Topple the Southern statues, spraypaint the Southern monuments, mock the Southern accents and folkways, and cancel…
Jason Morgan
March 10, 2021
Blog

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
Blog

German POWs and Civil Rights

I have written here before about my beloved hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama.  Forgive me if you’ve read this before, but Tuskegee was unique among small rural Southern towns because of its large, well-educated, and fairly empowered Black population.  I wish I could find the reference source for this data, but years ago I read that the Black-to-White ratio in Tuskegee…
Tom Daniel
March 8, 2021
Blog

A Look Into Our Future

Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which He hath made crooked? Ecclesiastes 7: 13 Scott Howard, in his book The Trans-gender Industrial Complex, says on pages 164-5: The so-called Enlightenment made man the center of the universe, a premise no less ridiculous than the not-long-discarded geocentric theory. When man is the center of the universe, he is God -…
H.V. Traywick, Jr.
March 5, 2021
Blog

The Lord Gives

It was a late night in Boone County, Arkansas when me and my newly married wife attended a party not far from our home in Lead Hill. The ol' boy that invited us had built a fire and we were all sitting around, drinking and telling stories, feeding the fire and enjoying the camaraderie, when his granddaughter walked out with…
Travis Holt
March 3, 2021
Blog

Secession’s Magic Numbers, Part One

A serial review of books numbering the States after a dissolution of the Union. American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard; ISBN: 978-0-14-312202-9, Penguin, September 25, 2012, 384 pages. American Nations is simply the most brilliant book I have ever read on American history. Almost every page is compact with some…
Terry Hulsey
February 23, 2021
Blog

Cajun Music

If these were normal times, we’d all be unpacking our Mardi Gras gear right about now.  Purple, yellow, and green would be everywhere, and I would be writing about how the first (and oldest) Mardi Gras in North America was in Mobile, Alabama, and not New Orleans.  But things went a little haywire recently, and Mardi Gras got canceled.  However,…
Tom Daniel
February 16, 2021
Blog

Reforming the Southern Man

I am not from where I live, yet I have a deep fear that where I live won’t be where I live for very much longer. The god of progress bears down on our town like cavalry upon the steppes. There is not a whole lot one can do outside of seeking divine intervention, much like a Magyar farmer in…
Rev. Benjamin Glaser
February 5, 2021
Podcast

Podcast Episode 246

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Jan 25-29, 2021 Topics: Southern Tradition, Slavery, Southern History, Southern Music, Southern Culture https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/episode-246
Brion McClanahan
January 30, 2021
Blog

From Eternity into Time

From Eternity into Time Mighty the Wizard Who found me at sunrise Sleeping, and woke me And learn’d me Magic! Great the Master, And sweet the Magic, When over the valley, In early summers, Over the mountain, On human faces, And all around me, Moving to melody, Floated The Gleam…              - Tennyson, “Merlin and the Gleam” (7)   When I…
H.V. Traywick, Jr.
January 29, 2021
Blog

Rock ‘n Roll has a Southern Accent

Rock ‘n Roll may be the most significant cultural export in American history.  There is no doubt that American culture, for good and bad, has had an enormous impact on global culture, and Rock ‘n Roll is one of our most iconic contributions.  Around the world, people don’t hear Rock ‘n Roll and think of Switzerland or Brazil or Thailand. …
Tom Daniel
January 27, 2021
Podcast

Podcast Episode 245

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Jan 11-22, 2021 Topics: Reconciliation, Southern Politics, Southern Culture, Southern History https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/episode-245
Brion McClanahan
January 23, 2021
Blog

American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God

The old saying: “American by birth, Southern by the grace of God” certainly applies to me. I’m an ethnic Southerner who was raised in the north – but who, for the past 25 years (with the exception of my three year educational exile to the permafrost of Fort Wayne, Indiana) has lived in the Deep South.  In fact, for the…
Rev. Larry Beane
January 21, 2021
Blog

VMI Test Case for the Country

In May of this year, George Floyd died; seven months later, the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) removed its statue of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson from its prominent position at the nation’s oldest state-supported four-year military college. The two events – one in Minnesota’s largest city, the other in Virginia’s picturesque Shenandoah Valley – had nothing to do with one another.…
Forrest L. Marion
January 7, 2021
Blog

Meditations on a Couple of Old Postcards

I saw a pile of household goods on the side of the road a couple of days ago, as I was picking up a friend to take him to the store. It was a blighting image that I gazed on with disdain. I asked him what was that, and he said his neighbor was cleaning the house, and it was…
Cliff Page
January 6, 2021
Blog

The Blundering Generations and the Crisis of Legitimacy

Crises of legitimacy are rarely resolved without some resort to violence. The European experience in the seventeenth century is generously populated with examples: The English Civil War, Le Fronde I and II, The Thirty Years War, The Great Deluge that rocked Eastern Europe and the Polish Commonwealth. Even the Glorious Revolution, that peaceful coup launched by Anglicans and Whigs against…
John Devanny
December 18, 2020
Blog

A Grandfather’s Love

Most all of us who were fortunate enough to know our Grandfather has experienced his love. It may be expressed in many ways, whether it be a spoken ‘Well done’ or an ‘I love you’, or by a physical ‘pat on the back’ or a hug. But most expressions of our Grandfather’s love are something we hold close, and will…
Travis Holt
December 15, 2020
Blog

Identity Politics and the Southern Gentleman

Earlier this year, shortly after the sad and unfortunate death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, I witnessed an especially peculiar example of one of the many thousands (perhaps millions?) of debates on social media regarding race in America. In this case, both of the virtual combatants were white males — one was a young, recent graduate of an Ivy League…
Casey Chalk
December 10, 2020
Blog

Less Than Five Miles

The life of a man is something that runs deep in all history. Before the war on gender roles, man and woman had a clear, defined boundary that all recognized and respected. Man was the provider, and woman, the nurturer and homemaker. A story and role as old as time. But, what of the physical boundaries of a man? My…
Travis Holt
November 30, 2020
Blog

The Southern Remnant

‘There has always been this fallacious belief: “It would not be the same here; here such things are impossible.” Alas, all the evil of the twentieth century is possible everywhere on earth.’ – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ‘In each one of us there lurks such a liberal, wheedling us with the voice of common sense. The road to totalitarian domination leads through…
James Rutledge Roesch
November 11, 2020
Blog

A [r]epublican in Exile

In Washington, D.C., while serving as Secretary of War in the 1850s, Jefferson Davis met Ambrose Dudley Mann, a native of Virginia who was the Assistant Secretary of State (and the first man to hold that office). The two men were drawn to each other immediately and became fast friends for the rest of their lives. In her biography of…
Karen Stokes
November 5, 2020
Blog

The Power of the Powerless

‘The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster.’ – Milan Kundera ‘I personally think…
James Rutledge Roesch
November 4, 2020
Blog

The Calhoun Monument Deserved Legal and Historical Protection

As some business owners and residents on King Street described it, “Charleston was raped” on the night of May 30, 2020, as mobs looted and burned the Holy City, turning so-called “peaceful protests” violent. Following numerous calls to remove the John C. Calhoun Monument and repeal the South Carolina Heritage Act, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg took a resolution to the…
Stewart O. Jones
October 30, 2020
Blog

Dumping Dixie Beer

There’s a popular meme floating around the internet that has a middle-aged, pot-bellied, suburban male standing by a charcoal fire with the caption below reading, “I just want to grill for God’s sake!” It has been seen as both an ideal (men just want to go about their weekly business without intrusion by the pet causes of the day) and…
Christopher J. Carter
October 29, 2020
Blog

Hank Williams Was Their Prophet and Tradition Was Their King

The story I’m about to tell is one of the many coming from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Hardscrabble existence was a way of life with our pioneers, and it was no different in my own bloodline. The Holts, James Simpson, and sons settled on a land grant in Newton County, Arkansas in the 1850s. They were some of the…
Travis Holt
October 21, 2020
Blog

Gaslighting Dixie’s Stateless People

Since 2015, it has become standard fare for the left to accuse President Trump of “Gaslighting,” meaning that the President uses his position of power to provide false data to confuse and therefore dominate Americans. The term originated from a 1930s Broadway play which was made into a movie “Gaslighting” in 1944 staring Ingrid Bergman. In the movie, the husband…
James Ronald Kennedy
October 7, 2020
Blog

The Eyes of Our Fathers

Coming from a small, truly united community, I have many places that are dear to me that I often visit. One of these is a small city, located in the town where I grew up. But this is no ordinary city: it’s a resting place for people who have gone on before us. As I walk through Smith Cemetery at…
Travis Holt
October 2, 2020
Blog

Sampson County and the Defense of Western Civilization

Sampson County is a large, mostly rural county in southeastern North Carolina. Like most non-metropolitan areas of the state, it tends to be conservative, in fact, a long-time bastion of the modern Republican Party in a sea of traditionally Democratic-voting counties. But Sampson County illustrates what is occurring all over the Southland. And in microcosm in certain ways it symbolizes…
Boyd Cathey
September 30, 2020
Blog

The Guns of September

Reminiscences and Ramblings of a Novice Wing-Shooter It was the First of September, 2019 and there I sat, in the pre-dawn twilight, half asleep and fighting the near irresistible temptation, provided by the comfortable blanket of darkness that enveloped me, to “rest my eyes”. I guess that’s what you get for having longtime friends (and, soon-to-be hunting companions) over the…
Travis Archie
September 24, 2020
Blog

Henry Miller’s Air-Conditioned Nightmare

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
Blog

Thirty Pieces of Silver

“Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O'Hara, that Tara, that land, doesn't mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin' for, worth fightin' for, worth dyin' for, because it's the only thing that lasts.” Once there was a common theme among our ancestors, and it was a simple one: land is…
Travis Holt
September 21, 2020
Blog

A Land Without Heroes

What if there were 15.3 million dead American soldiers? Imagine it. Legions of the unburied down rows of summer corn, strewn along riverbanks, and discarded on roadsides. And imagine if many of the boys’ bodies had lain there for months or even years, for the fighting was so fierce and the resources so few that only the fortunate lay in…
Duncan Killen
September 15, 2020
Blog

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
Blog

Requiem For A Quiet Man

Growing up in the Arkansas Ozarks, I early on found out I had a love for history; the history of my people. It was passed down to me in short snippets, in stories told between the older generations that revolved around love, tragedy, learning experiences, or sometimes just comedic encounters or sayings. My Grandfather would often quote an older man…
Travis Holt
September 1, 2020
Blog

General Orders No. 9

Have any of you all heard about the film, "General Orders No. 9" ? It's a visual & musical tone poem—an experimental film which appeared in 2011. The filmmaker, Robert Persons, took 11 years to make it. It concerns his musings about the Deep South, mostly Georgia, but also includes abutting parts of Mississippi & Alabama. This strange film struck…
Alphonse-Louis Vinh
August 31, 2020
Blog

The Simple Things

I was raised in one of the poorest counties in North West Arkansas, where my ancestors settled in the 1850s and scratched a living out of poor, rocky hillsides. They raised their families, fought in the war, battled famine and drought and came out ahead, leaving their children small, improved farms. They taught them the joy of being independent, finding…
Travis Holt
August 18, 2020
Blog

The Remnant, Part I

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…
Blog

The Deep Identity of the South

Editor's Note: The Abbeville Institute does not endorse or support the views of Alexander Dugin on race, religion, or government, and Mr. Garlington offers his philosophical positions on identity in the broad concept of the term. The Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin lists three kinds of identity in his book Eurasian Mission – diffused, extreme, and deep.  The diffused identity is…
Walt Garlington
June 30, 2020
Blog

An Interview with Clyde Wilson, Part III

“Southerners who still value their heritage but don’t know what to do about it in such a hostile environment. They are our audience.” DM: What is your best short answer to people who say the War for Southern Independence was all about slavery and nothing but slavery? Should we come at this from an offensive posture, rather than being defensive,…
Clyde Wilson
June 16, 2020
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

Plodding Through the “ills of life”

Especially in unsettling times, it is helpful for Christians to examine the lives of faithful saints of old, who finished their race well. One brother and father in the faith, today perhaps remembered in Baptist circles and in North Carolina, was Elder Martin Ross. As a young man, Ross served as a soldier in the Continental Army in the war…
Forrest L. Marion
April 29, 2020
Blog

Every Southerner Needs This Magazine

On various occasions I’ve made references to Chronicles Magazine and cited articles printed in it. Remarkably, Chronicles is the only print magazine of stature (it is also online) in America which has represented and aired traditionalist conservative viewpoints, in depth and intelligently, now for forty-four years. Edited by Dr. Paul Gottfried (Raffensperger Professor of Humanities, Emeritus, Elizabethtown College), the magazine includes some of the finest writers…
Boyd Cathey
April 22, 2020
Review Posts

Individual Responsibility and Guilt

A review of Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019) by Susan Neiman Susan Neiman is a philosopher who has written well-regarded books on Kant and on the problem of evil. Last year she published a book with an unusual title: Learning From the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil.  Neiman…
David Gordon
March 24, 2020
Blog

Can the Southern Tradition Save America?

“Where you gonna be when half of California riots? Where you gonna run to when the lights go out? I won’t be hangin’ out in California, I won’t try it. Buddy I’ll be up and headed South.” Jamey Johnson The Wuhan virus has sparked a renewed interest in the Southern tradition. No one is saying that, but it’s true. Donald…
Brion McClanahan
March 23, 2020
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part XIV

19.  Our Speech The experts will tell you that there is more than one Southern accent.  This is true, but they all gather together as a marker of Southern that has been widely recognised for a long time---like barbecue.   For Hollywood a Southern accent usually is outre’, a sign of ignorance or villainy as discussed in preceding chapters. On the…
Clyde Wilson
March 19, 2020
Review Posts

Kentucky Hobbits

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
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part XII

16.  EXECRABLES. The Worst Movies about the South: A Small Selection The competition here is fierce. We can only provide a sample of some of the worst.  A few examples out of a vast field, many of them presenting a ludicrously distorted South.  (X)  The Southerner (1945). This movie was made by a famous French director while a refugee in…
Clyde Wilson
March 5, 2020
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide Part XI

15.  Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Southerners:  Films for the Family The major movie stars of the 1930s through the 1970s came from the East and Midwest.  Nevertheless, there was a strong presence of native Southerners in the top ranks:  Oliver Hardy, Ava Gardner,  Randolph Scott, Joseph Cotten, Jeffrey Hunter,  Miriam Hopkins, John Payne (an almost forgotten Virginian star of film…
Clyde Wilson
February 27, 2020
Blog

Confederate Christmas

It was Thursday, Christmas day of 1862, and the guns at Fredericksburg had fallen silent just ten days before with over ten thousand Union soldiers of the Army of the Potomac and half that number of Confederates from the Army of Northern Virginia lying dead or wounded beyond the city. That night, a twenty-one year old cannoneer from Richmond, Lieutenant…
John Marquardt
February 21, 2020
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part X

12.   Southerners in the Late 19th  and Early  20th Centuries **The Yearling (1946).  This is an all-time favourite about family life on the Florida frontier and a troublesome pet deer.  Seldom noticed is that the father, Gregory Peck, is a former Confederate soldier.  The film is based on the novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.  Another fine Rawlings book about her…
Clyde Wilson
February 20, 2020
Blog

Finding Dixie

Fear not. Dixie lights are merely hiding under a bushel, as it says in the song we teach our children in Sunday School. Grass roots are sprouting. “Woke” tries to get her toe in the door, but in small Southern towns memories and traditions are strong. Here are five examples. In my small Southern town, the first sentence of the…
Barbara Lawter
February 14, 2020
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part IX

11.  Post-bellum and Westerns There  are two  interesting,  important,  and  little  noticed features of films about  the South  in the  period  after the War for Southern  Independence.  First, until recent times they generally portray the mainstream view of “Reconstruction” as corrupt and oppressive that prevailed before the Marxist coup in American history writing.   Carpetbaggers are shown as vicious, greedy, and…
Clyde Wilson
February 13, 2020
Blog

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
Blog

Charge! and Remember Jackson

Lieutenant-General Thomas Jonathan ‘Stonewall’ Jackson was the greatest martyr of our Cause, the first icon of the War for Southern Independence. He was the archetypal Christian soldier; there is infinite wisdom to be gleaned from his life. In death, he has ascended to the status of myth; even in life, as a chaplain once expressed, “Nobody seemed to understand him…when…
Neil Kumar
January 22, 2020
Blog

The Cyber Rebel

William Gibson surprises people when they meet him. The writer who coined the terms “cyberspace” and “megacorp,” whose dystopian novels re-invented science fiction in the 80s, and was lauded in The Guardian (UK) as “the most important novelist of the past two decades,” greets people with a slow, easygoing Southern drawl – not the voice one would expect from a…
Mike C. Tuggle
January 17, 2020
Blog

Education and the South

Theories of education in any land are never easily divorced from the prevailing ideas regarding civics and economics. Education's function, particularly toward the young, will become merely to render them fit to partake in the civic and economic institutions of a nation. Thus its methods and goals will be shaped by these spheres. The end result is a reciprocal relationship…
Robert Hoyle
January 15, 2020
Blog

As the Year 2020 Begins–Southerners Take Stock

As 2020 commences it is perhaps appropriate that we take stock—that we take a look globally at just where we are, politically, culturally, religiously. All our basic and fundamental social institutions are under tremendous stress, if not outright attack, not just legally and politically, but far more insidiously, in how they are defined and how they affect us. Our very…
Boyd Cathey
January 13, 2020
Blog

The Left’s March Through Southern Institutions

A photograph of the University of Mississippi Majorettes graced the cover of the September 24, 1962, issue of the popular national magazine, Sports Illustrated. This national magazine thought nothing of showing college majorettes wearing gray, quasi Confederate, uniforms while carrying numerous Confederate Battle flags. In 1964 the Louisiana State Archives in conjunction with the State Superintendent of Public Education and…
James Ronald Kennedy
January 6, 2020
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part III

5. Spielberg’s Amistad (1997) If Amistad is not yet a household word like ET or Jurassic Park, it soon will be with the power of Steven Spielberg behind it.  (When I started this review awhile back, that was my first sentence, but I may have been wrong.  Late reports indicate the box office is lagging.)  Amistad is really two movies.…
Clyde Wilson
December 19, 2019
Blog

Is Nikki Haley Trying to Back Pedal on the Confederate Flag?

Back in 2015 when Dylan Roof shot those black folks in their church in Charleston, South Carolina no one was quicker to denounce the Confederate flag than the governor of South Carolina, Nimrata Haley. Almost instantaneously she had the Confederate Battle Flag removed from the capital grounds in Columbia, and she said: “I think the more important part is it…
Al Benson
December 18, 2019
Blog

Not Just Whistling Dixie

There are few Southern hearts that still fail to skip a beat or two when a military band strikes up “Dixie,” the de facto national anthem of the Confederacy and the song that has undoubtedly become the one most closely associated with the antebellum South.  This, however, was not the case with the creator of that iconic tune, Daniel Emmett,…
John Marquardt
December 13, 2019
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part II

Symbols Used ** Indicates one of the more than 100 most recommended films. The order in which they appear does not reflect any ranking, only the convenience of discussion (T)   Tolerable but not among the most highly recommended (X)   Execrable. Avoid at all costs                                 3. The Colonial and Revolutionary South Colonial and Revolutionary Southern history does not have a…
Clyde Wilson
December 12, 2019
Review Posts

Real Southern Sport

A review of Maxcy Gregg’s Sporting Journals, 1842-1858 (Green Altar Books, 2019) Suzanne Parfitt Johnson, Editor. Foreword by James Everett Kibler, Jr. The exploration of everyday life in a given historical period is often based upon the letters, diaries, and business ledgers and journals of the past.  Historians in the last four to five decades have also incorporated the findings…
John Devanny
December 10, 2019
Blog

Front Porch Braggin’ Rights

My new neighbor Ozzie, who grew up in the Bronx, thinks that the South is a place “without much culture.”  Ozzie acts as if he is an expert on the subject, even though his Southern experience has been confined to living in the D.C. suburbs for a few years before retiring out here to the Blue Ridge Mountains last year.…
Ben Jones
December 9, 2019
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part I

A man only has room for one oath at a time.  I took an oath to the Confederate States of America.” John Wayne, The Searchers “We are going to hit the Yankees where it’ll hurt him most---his pocketbook.” Van Heflin, The Raid “I’m sure glad I aint a Yankee.” Randoph Scott, Belle Starr “I ain’t never been ‘round no Yankees…
Clyde Wilson
December 5, 2019
Blog

Something of Value

An excerpt from North Carolina author Robert Ruark’s best known novel reads: “If a man does away with his traditional way of living and throws away his good customs, he had better first make certain that he has something of value to replace them.” Ruark grew up in Wilmington where he learned to hunt and fish with his grandfathers in…
Philip Leigh
December 4, 2019
Blog

Steel Creek Church and the Airport

Early this past summer the historic Steele Creek Presbyterian Church, near the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, closed its doors for good. The church, the second oldest in Mecklenburg County, having been founded in 1760—nearly 259 years ago—by hardy Scots settlers to the region, merged with another Presbyterian Church in the area, Pleasant Hill. The classic 1889 Gothic-revival style brick structure…
Boyd Cathey
December 2, 2019
Review Posts

Does the South Exist?

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
Blog

Overextending Political Loyalties

One of the two commandments the Lord Jesus Christ gave to His disciples to follow was to love our neighbor as ourselves.  However, in the modern United States of America, we no longer have neighbors.  We either have ideological allies; or we have ideological opponents, who keep us from enjoying the right to say or do this or the right…
Walt Garlington
November 8, 2019
Blog

The South Starts Here

You know, as a kid who grew up without electricity, a telephone or indoor plumbing, it continues to amaze me that I posted a picture of a sign in front of a gas station/store down on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, added some thoughts of my own, and several hundred thousand people saw it and shared it and debated it…
Ben Jones
October 21, 2019
Blog

What Price Prosperity?

The news media rarely, if ever, focuses on the impact on society and culture the price of economic growth. Nor do politicians.   This begs the question, what price is extracted from society and culture in the pursuit of economic growth, in particular, when the central and state governments along with the central bank play key roles, namely in the of…
Nicole Williams
October 16, 2019
Blog

Stranger in a Strange Land

I recently relocated--with any luck, temporarily--to a sprawling metroplex of a city of almost seven million, within an even more massive state. I’d believed I understood globalism and loss of identity. I thought I had made an uneasy peace with the reality of modernism and destruction of memory.  I had no idea.  Not only is there no regional culture here—one of…
Leslie Alexander
October 14, 2019
Blog

Whatever Happened to Democracy?

Those of us whose experience goes back a way into the last century, can remember when “democracy” was the main theme of American discourse.  A million tongues proudly and repeatedly declared that America was the Democracy, exemplar and defender of that sacred idea to all the world.  Hardly anyone dared to question that sentiment.  It saw us through two world…
Clyde Wilson
October 7, 2019
Blog

Gunston Hall Boxwoods

George Mason, like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, was happiest at home, either in the fields and woods, with a good book by the hearth, or entertaining neighbors and family.  Living close to the soil, time was measured by the rhythms of nature. The flow of the seasons brought different activities: planting and harvesting, fishing and hunting, visiting neighbors in…
Brett Moffatt
September 30, 2019
Blog

A Love of Place

Southerners love home. This is true of many people throughout history, but place has, in part, defined the South. The earliest settlers to what became the South championed its Utopian physical qualities: warm weather, a long growing season, bountiful plant and animal life. Bad weather, disease carrying insects, and dangerous wildlife were annoyances to be tolerated if not overcome. Southern…
Brion McClanahan
September 20, 2019
Blog

Mass Barbecue is the Invasive Species of Our Culinary Times

This article originally appeared on www.TheAmericanConservative.com.  Copyright 2019 From the colonial era well into the 20th century, large public barbecues were an institution across the South, from the Chesapeake eventually to Texas. Although these occasions could be linked to campaigns or celebrations of one kind or another, they could also be just an excuse for people to get together, to…
John Shelton Reed
September 19, 2019
Blog

Rediscovering Heritage

Lack of attachment to culture, heritage, and tradition is the death of a nation. As a child, I had very little in-depth knowledge of my family’s history. Most of my extended family had died from old age by the time of my birth except for my maternal grandfather, Nelson Pace and great aunt, Mary Paul Pittman Smyrl, both natives of…
Nicole Williams
August 28, 2019
Review Posts

The C.S.A.

A review of The C.S.A. Trilogy (Independent, 2018) by Howard Ray White. A beautiful thought experiment for Southerners. The year is 2011, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Confederate States of America.    Celebrants are gathering in the capital, Davis, located where Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee come together. Confederates have every reason to celebrate. They have a free, prosperous,…
Clyde Wilson
August 27, 2019
Blog

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
Blog

The Case for the Confederacy

This essay was originally published in The Lasting South (Regnery, 1957). Recently when Bertrand Russell was a speaking-guest of the Richmond Area University Center, its director, Colonel Herbert Fitzroy, drove the philosopher from Washington to Richmond over Route One. After some miles the usually voluble Russell grew silent, and nothing would draw him out. Then, as if emerging from deep…
Clifford Dowdey
August 7, 2019
Blog

Conan the Southerner?

“Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Conan, destined to bear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high…
Joel T. Leggett
July 5, 2019
Review Posts

Dabney on Fire

A review of Dabney on Fire: A Theology of Parenting, Education, Feminism, and Government (2019) by Zachary Garris, ed. During his lifetime, Southern theologian and writer Robert Lewis Dabney was most notably known for his 1866 biography of General “Stonewall” Jackson (The Life and Campaigns of Lieut.-Gen. Thomas J. Jackson) and for his post-war apologia for the Southern cause, A…
Boyd Cathey
June 25, 2019
Blog

A Copperhead Loves the South

CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY ADDRESS  22 April 2019 American by birth -- Southern by the grace of God!  I come from a true Southern state, South Dakota, and I am honored to be probably the first Dakotan to give the Memorial Day address at the capital of the Confederacy. Last week I had a conference call with a man from Michigan,…
John A. Eidsmoe
April 25, 2019
Blog

The South and the American Union

Stretching from the Potomac River across the southeastern quarter of the United States in a broad arc into the plains of Texas is a region known geographically and politically as “the South.” That this region has been distinctive by reason of its climate, type of produce, ethnic composition, culture, manners, and speech is known to every citizen of the country.…
Richard M. Weaver
April 22, 2019
Blog

The Culture of Thomas Jefferson

To the student of the Classics the most interesting thing in the Library of Congress at Washington is the considerable remnant of the library of Thomas Jefferson. On October 6, 1820, Jefferson wrote to his young grandson, Francis Eppes, "I consider you as having made such proficiency in Latin and Greek that on your arrival at Columbia you may at…
Fred Irland
April 12, 2019
Blog

Talk Radio vs. The South

Right wing radio personalities need no excuse to engage in South-bashing, but the recent events in the Old Dominion have given them free rein to indulge in their passion non-stop.  Governor Ralph Northam’s perceived hatred of “the other” quickly overshadowed his chilling, matter of fact endorsement of proposed legislation establishing new and ghoulish abortion protocols in his state, and with…
J.L. Bennett
February 27, 2019
Blog

Contested Ground: Southern Identity and the Southern Tradition

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
Blog

Pro-Confederate Television

In this age of political correctness it may surprise people that there were three TV series that portrayed Confederates in a good light. All three are very good and all the episodes of two of the series are available on DVD, and some of the episodes of the other series is available. The first series is Yancy Derringer. Yancy Derringer…
Jeff Wolverton
February 15, 2019
Blog

Confederaphobes

Presented at the Lee-Jackson Banquet, Finley’s Brigade Camp 1614 - Tallahassee, Florida, 19 January 2019 Prologue It seemed like just another day at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, for the vice chancellor of student affairs, Paula Knudson, until the phone calls, student visitors, and official “hate and bias” reports began to pour in. A truck—a semi-tractor trailer truck to…
Paul C. Graham
February 6, 2019
Blog

Is Secession the Answer?

Watching NBC’s TODAY program on Tuesday, January 23, 2019, there was anchor Savannah Guthrie demanding to know if Covington, Kentucky, Catholic High School student, Nick Sandman, wished to “apologize” for his “actions” in front of the Lincoln Memorial when confronted by Indian activist, Nathan Phillips, on January 19. The scarcely-concealed bias that characterized Guthrie’s question and the continuing media narrative—proven…
Boyd Cathey
February 4, 2019
Blog

The Southern Tradition

Many years ago the historian Francis Parkman wrote a passage in one of his narratives which impresses me as full of wisdom and prophecy. After a brilliant characterization of the colonies as they existed on the eve of the Revolution, he said, “The essential antagonism of Virginia and New England was afterwards to become, and to remain, an element of…
Richard M. Weaver
January 14, 2019
Blog

Julian Green

One summer day in Paris, France, just a year after the Great War, a former French military officer, not yet nineteen years of age was invited by his father to have a chat. Slim, handsome, and gifted, the young man knew it was time for the big talk concerning his future now that peace had returned. To help him make…
Alphonse-Louis Vinh
January 11, 2019
Blog

The Cost of Southern Cultural Genocide

The destruction of Confederate monuments and the slandering of all things Confederate is in vogue in contemporary mainline media, academia, and the political establishment. The destruction of Confederate monuments by radical mobs is similar to the radical Taliban’s destruction of Buddhist monuments and the Soviet Union’s denial of public expressions of native culture in the Baltic states—all are examples of…
James Ronald Kennedy
January 9, 2019
Blog

The Legacy of D.W. Griffith

None knew it then, but in 1915, Southern agrarian influence on the movies was at its height. The film trade had just left Fort Lee, New Jersey, only to land in the equally piously named Mount Lee, California. Of course, the latter’s new name was Hollywood, due to its Kansas prohibitionist developers, but it was also the same name as…
Norman Stewart
January 7, 2019
Blog

The Neo-Puritan War on Christmas

“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” – H. L. Mencken “Let any man of contrary opinion open his mouth to persuade them , they close up their ears, his reasons they weigh not . . . . They are impermeable to argument and have their answers well drilled.”  – Richard Hooker, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical…
John Devanny
December 19, 2018
Review Posts

The Land We Love

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
Blog

What Does the Fracturing of the American Identity Mean for the Southern Tradition?

The Abbeville Institute conducted three conferences this year on the fracturing of American national identity and what means for the Southern tradition and the Southern people. The general public knows America is coming apart and that they're anxious about it, but most don't understand why because our political leaders and the national media generally suppress its origins. We wanted to…
Donald Livingston
December 17, 2018
Blog

Southern Music is American Music

Why do Southerners continue to fall into that trap where we only talk about the years1861-1865?  There are almost 400 years of Southern culture to talk about, yet we keep limiting ourselves to just four of them.  And it doesn’t matter how much of an expert someone becomes about Fredericksburg, Yankees will always have that same ace-in-the-hole comeback, “You lost.” But…
Tom Daniel
December 14, 2018
Blog

The Tragedy of Land Use in the South

For all of the pontificating of the virtues of the South, we have increasingly seen our agrarian landscape polluted by strip malls and environmental contamination. I make the case that neither of these things are inherently Southern in character, and as I believe, are contributing negatives to the soul and character of our region. We must work to correct these…
Nicole Williams
December 3, 2018
Blog

What Country Legend Roy Clark’s Death Symbolizes for America in 2018

The news came Thursday, November 15, that country music legend, Virginia-born Roy Clark had passed away at age 85. For those either too young to know who Clark was, or who perhaps never cottoned to “country” music, for a whole generation, for twenty-four years, he was in many ways the heart and soul of the popular country music variety television…
Boyd Cathey
November 28, 2018
Blog

Why Aren’t Americans Interested in History?

The study of history cannot be neatly contained behind the tall foreboding doors of an ivory tower nor swept under the rugs of dusty corner offices housing stacks of paper. It bleeds into other fields as it serves to inform both individual and group identity. It gives context to the current world and helps one understand their place in it…
Jonathan Harris
November 9, 2018
Blog

Was the Old South Feudal?

Was the Old South Feudal? Eugene Genovese wrote several works on antebellum slavery that essentially argued the Old South was neither feudal nor capitalist. His book Fruits of Merchant Capital: Slavery and Bourgeois Property in the Rise and Expansion of Capitalism and earlier writings on slave economies postulated that the Southern mode of production was pre-capitalist and utilized a type…
Michael Martin
October 24, 2018
Blog

Southern Memories of the Good Ol’ Days

Having traveled in all fifty states, I must admit there are certain areas of this great country that continue to draw me back, time and again, to enjoy their natural beauty, pleasing climate, and their historical sites. The most fascinating place I’ve traveled is the tiny village of Barrow, Alaska, the northern most of cities in the United States. However,…
Cary Lindsay
October 12, 2018
Blog

The Old South’s Poor Whites

There was a time, before universal white male suffrage and the closing of the frontier, when the poor whites of the South were considered shiftless and without caste. If we were to look at the South as a hierarchical system, it could be argued that the poor whites were a kind of pariah. There’s a common misconception that all whites…
Michael Martin
October 11, 2018
Blog

Why Was General Earl Van Dorn Murdered?

In some ways, historians are like anyone else: they hate to make mistakes. But if you write enough, sooner or later, you will make a mistake—I assure you. I certainly have, but I have been more fortunate than most. Sometimes, mistakes benefit you. What I suppose are my two most significant errors to date came more than two decades apart,…
Samuel W. Mitcham
October 4, 2018
Blog

Fighters

Editor's Note: The text is taken from Tom Skeyhill's, His Own Life Story And War Diary, a collection of interviews Skeyhill conducted with World War I Medal of Honor recipient Alvin C. York of Pall Mall, TN in the 1920s. I ain’t had much of the larnin’ that comes out of books. I’m a-trying to overcome that, but it ain’t…
Alvin C. York
September 19, 2018
Blog

End of an Era

I was saddened to hear that Phil Harris had died. I knew the man. You might say we were old friends. As a matter of fact, we first met in 1954 in Monterey, California. I was attending the Army Language School, learning Russian, and Phil was playing in the Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournament. His professional partner was Dutch Harrison, a…
Thomas Landess
August 17, 2018
Blog

The Sounds of the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia

Because we live in such a hurried time, we hear countless “noises” but have little time to appreciate actual “sounds.” Sound is a sensation that you can feel, not just something you can hear. To understand this idea, consider how some musicians have actually played concerts for the deaf, who cannot hear the music but still feel the vibrations. These…
Michael Martin
August 16, 2018
Blog

Anything Is Nice If It Come From Dixieland

In October 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to dine at the executive mansion. This was an unprecedented move. No African-American had ever been asked to dine with the president, and while neither Roosevelt or his staff said much of the event, it was surely done in the spirit of reconciliation and Roosevelt's desire to be "the people's…
Brion McClanahan
August 15, 2018
Blog

The Southern Muse of Ronnie Van Zant

The 1970’s were an interesting time in the South. The 1970's were the last time Southerners could be Southern without feeling the need to apologize for, or be ironic about, their Southern identity. In fact, in the 1970's, it seemed to actually go a little beyond this. We shouldn’t push this too far, but in 1970’s America there seemed to…
Jeff Rogers
August 13, 2018
Blog

The Southern Saga

In the book The Mystery of the Wonder-Worker of Ostrog, the main character, Mladjen, a fictional representation of the modern Serb uprooted from his traditions by the lingering effects of Communism (who is very much akin to many of those inhabiting the New South, shorn of so much of their past by the all-too-present effects of Communism’s alter-ego, Capitalism), has…
Walt Garlington
August 10, 2018
Blog

The Southron’s Burden

Southerners confronted by Northerners touring our section are made aware of the difference in their speech from ours. They approach us speaking a form of English known outside the United States as "American." We of the South also like to consider ourselves American; however, it has long been an accepted belief that we Southerners have an accent. And not just…
Laurie Hibbett
July 20, 2018
Blog

Nathan Bedford Forrest and Southern Folkways

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
Blog

The Ministry of ‘Ordinary Means’ and the Kentucky Revivals of 1828

In his important 1994 work, Revival and Revivalism: The Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism, 1750-1858, the Rev. Iain H. Murray examined the periods in American church history known as the first and second awakenings. Focusing mainly on the spiritual movements in the North, Murray argued persuasively that in general the First Awakening period of the mid-18th century was characterized…
Forrest L. Marion
July 6, 2018
Blog

Why Confederate Monuments Matter

First of all, I wish to state that I teach history. I do not try to erase it, and I do not desecrate graves, like the “politically correct” did in Memphis and elsewhere. I understand why corrupt political nonentities like the mayors of Memphis and New Orleans would want Confederate statues removed. They want to divert the voters’ attention from…
Samuel W. Mitcham
June 21, 2018
Blog

Awake for the Living: Lee and the “Feeling of Loyalty”

“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” —Revelation 2:5 The Attack on Confederate Monuments is a subspecies of what Richard M. Weaver called the “attack on memory.”  To understand why the attack on…
Aaron Wolf
June 13, 2018
Blog

Southern Cultural Genocide

  The quote below indirectly warns about the implications of Confederate statue removals and the censorship of Southern interpretations regarding the Civil War and Reconstruction. Kundera is presently a French novelist born in Brno when the city was located in Czechoslovakia. He lived through both Nazi and Communist totalitarianism before fleeing to France in 1975. His books were banned in…
Philip Leigh
June 11, 2018
Blog

Redeeming the Time

Picture it. A book store in Madison, Wisconsin, in the mid-’90s. Quite the unlikely place you’d expect to be exposed to the true history of the Pilgrims being totalitarian religionists, not the freedom-seeking refugees in funny hats, bonnets, and buckled-shoes we hear about in grade school. This took place at a book signing and lecture, not given by a historian,…
Dissident Mama
June 6, 2018
Blog

Lee the Philosopher

Our culture has, of late, become rather fixated on the idea that every historical figure in our past should have anticipated how moral worldviews would evolve after his or her death. Now, clearly, this is impossible. Picasso and Hemingway, to take two great artists who were also generally terrible people, could not (and should not) have thought about how their…
R.M. Stangler
May 31, 2018
Blog

Star Wars and Gone With The Wind

Given that the Star Wars franchise seems to have degenerated into yet another vehicle for the transmission of political-correctness, it seems a little ironic that the newest installment of the series will revolve around the one character with an undeniable connection to the South -- Han Solo.  George Lucas's wisecracking smuggler borrowed some of his best lines from the cynical…
Jerry Salyer
May 25, 2018
Blog

An Appeal to Southern Graduates

This spring thousands of graduates coming out of the high schools and colleges across the South will be hearing a similar message: Go far!  Dream big!  Succeed!  Break the mold! But we hope they will not listen to it.  We hope they will do the opposite: Stay home, dream small, be content, be unknown. The duty of the young is…
Walt Garlington
May 23, 2018
Blog

On Remaining Humble in Modern Academia

After reading Richard Weaver’s monumental work Ideas Have Consequences last semester I was struck with one characterization of the “ideal man” that has since been shaping the way I look at my own academic future. For a young seminary student like myself pursuing “Christ-likeness” was a given, but my eyes were never fully open to what that meant in relation…
Jonathan Harris
May 18, 2018
Blog

Yankee Sanctification

“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
Blog

Southern Identity in the 21st Century

What exactly does it mean to be a Southerner in the 21st Century? Is it spending countless hours finding out who your Confederate ancestor is and joining up with the local Sons of Confederate Veterans? Or is it driving around town with a Confederate flag bumper sticker on the back of your pickup truck? Or maybe it’s being “that guy”…
Lewis Liberman
May 14, 2018
Blog

30 Years From Hank Williams

This piece was originally printed in Southern Partisan magazine in 1985. Hank Williams has now been dead longer than he lived. And outside of a hundred or more fine songs, his thrity-year-old memory survives best among some of his cousins down in Georgiana, Alabama, about sixty miles south of Montgomery. Among them are Taft and Erleen Skipper (Taft’s daddy and…
Bill Koon
March 28, 2018
Review Posts

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

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
Blog

Sacred Harp Singing

If I was forced to give an example of at least one good thing we got out of the Puritans, I would quickly point to Sacred Harp singing.  Sacred Harp is a traditional, primitive method of church singing still favored in the Deep South, and it even comes complete with several different annual conventions.  Brion McClanahan and others have written…
Tom Daniel
March 12, 2018
Blog

The Little Town with the Big Heart

If you travel I-20 east from Jackson, Mississippi, somewhere about 20 miles short of Meridian you’ll see a sign: Hickory Exit. This sign is one almost ad infinitum of green signs along a monster interstate that has sucked the life out of localism, particularly important throughout the South. But should you drive into downtown from old Highway 80, you’ll see…
Paul H. Yarbrough
March 7, 2018
Blog

Confederate History of the Maryland Flag

It is near impossible to express any admiration of the antebellum South without incurring the wrath of the perpetually offended mob, online or otherwise.  Even acknowledgment in the accomplishments of those men once universally and unequivocally admired by all Americans, such as Washington, Jefferson, and Lee, now brings the occasional sneer or mark of condemnation from “polite” society.  Unfortunately, for…
Reverdy Johnson
March 5, 2018
Blog

Who’s Going to Fill Their Shoes?

When I was very young, I recall my father telling me of George "No-Show" Jones, a country music legend. The moniker, I was told, was given after Jones failed to play a concert in some town in Texas. He was said to be seen riding a motorcycle in the opposite direction of his "postponed" performance, with a very attractive blonde…
Christopher J. Carter
February 28, 2018
Blog

The South’s Stockholm Syndrome

The Stockholm Syndrome is a condition where captives or hostages develop a psychological attachment and loyalty to their captors.  Psychologists often describe this syndrome as a “survival strategy.”    This strategy is employed by captives when all hope for returning to a normal life appears to be lost.  By befriending one’s all-powerful captors, life is preserved within the new “normal” order. …
Blog

Gator McKlusky

Everyone wanted to be Southern in the 1970s. The rejuvenated interest in Southern music from bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlies Daniels, and the Allman Brothers (and the unknown Southern influence in the "Motown" sound) was just one component of a larger pro-Southern, working class, populist movement. Southerners had been made consciously Southern again after over a decade of national attention,…
Brion McClanahan
February 9, 2018
Blog

In the Eye of the Beholder

Once upon a time in America, in a far different and far more gentle age, it was possible for four young men from Memphis, Tennessee, to appear at a performance in a Northern city dressed as Confederate officers and sing a song entitled “Save Your Confederate Money Boys, the South Shall Rise Again” without being booed off the stage. Not…
John Marquardt
February 5, 2018
Blog

Florida Cowboys

Reading on the Abbeville site articles about the South and the West, I was reminded of my newspaper piece on Florida as the Wild Wild (South) East, which had a popular run.  It was inspired by a Frederic Remington article describing his adventures in Florida with cowboys in the 1880s.   Our county (Marion, named for Gen. Francis Marion) was as…
Joscelyn Dunlop
December 21, 2017
Blog

Hate the South Week

‘Just a post, just a post, just a post on a blog, just a post, just a post, and the war has begun’ (To the tune of “Sloth,” Fairport Convention, ca. 1978) General Uncivil Background Blessed as we are -- so the economists say (they never lie) -– with relentless, inescapable digital bother and cyber-mania, any one of us might…
Joseph R. Stromberg
December 13, 2017
Review Posts

The World They Made Together

A review of The World They Made Together, Black and White Values in Eighteenth Century Virginia, by Mechal Sobel, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1987 I In America, in 1607 the first successful British settlement began in a land they called Virginia. Within a few decades another people began arriving, taken from their homes in Africa. Both peoples arrived…
Vito Mussomeli
December 12, 2017
Blog

“No Other Gods Before Me.”

From its port side northern Kentucky’s foremost tourist attraction looks exactly like a real vessel, a big one, with a ramp fitted along it to take on animals and supplies.  From bow to stern it is 510 feet long, about as long as a modern missile frigate, and the designers have gone to great lengths to make the structure appear…
Jerry Salyer
November 30, 2017
Blog

Cane Fighting

For five days in May, 1856, Charles Sumner delivered a speech entitled The Crime Against Kansas. For those five days, he continuously slandered South Carolina and its senator, Pierce Butler. Regarding South Carolina, Sumner stated: “If we glance at special achievements, it will be difficult to find anything in the history of South Carolina which presents so much of heroic…
Michael Martin
November 29, 2017
Blog

Is the South Celtic?

There is a popular theme embraced by many that the uniqueness of Southern culture is explained by its “Celtic” origins in opposition to the “Anglo-Saxon” foundations of the North.  This thesis has been expressed strongly in such works as Grady McWhiney’s Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South, Jim Webb’s Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America, and James…
Clyde Wilson
November 13, 2017
Blog

The Invention of the Appalachian Hillbilly

In our politically correct culture where even the mildest criticism of a societal group can earn someone the label of racist, it remains open season on rural America.  When Barack Obama famously spoke of rural Pennyslvanians in 2008 as "bitter" people who "cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them" and are prone to "anti-immigrant…
Michael Armstrong
October 25, 2017
Blog

Hollywood Before the “Hate Confederate” Movement

From the beginnings to rather recent times, sympathetic portrayals of Confederates have been a mainstay of America cinema.  An astounding number of major stars without any Southern background have had no objection to favourably portraying Confederates (and other Southerners).  It might be noted that two of the major figures of early American film, D.W. Griffith and Will Rogers, were the…
Clyde Wilson
September 27, 2017
Blog

Yankee Rush

Lee Sam and Abner were settin’ on the porch drinking ice-tea one day when the Yankee from Boston come running his Toyota Prius up the road to the house. He stopped, and as it was July and hadn’t rained in a month, the dust kinda poured over his car when he stopped. He got out a coughing and fussing and…
Paul H. Yarbrough
September 15, 2017
Blog

What Confederate Monument Critics May Not Know

In 1958 a nearly forgotten thirty-four year old Texas author named William Humphrey debuted his first novel, Home From the Hill, to widespread praise. Legendary director Vincente Minnelli released a film version only two years later. Both the book and the movie are highly rated by Amazon customers. The novel begins as follows: Early one morning last September the men squatting on the Northeast corner…
Philip Leigh
August 4, 2017
Blog

We Long to be Free!

An Address given on the Occasion of the Observance of Confederate Flag Day Raleigh, North Carolina | 03 March 2017 SEVEN SCORE AND SIXTEEN YEARS AGO, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new union, freely chosen and legally adopted by eleven Southern States with the consent of the people, and expressed through their chosen delegates in solemn assembly;…
Paul C. Graham
August 2, 2017
Blog

“The Unshaken Rock:” The Jeffersonian Tradition in America

Presented at the 2017 Abbeville Institute Summer School. When historians discuss reasons for Southern secession, as if the South needed to produce one, perhaps the most important, and sometimes neglected, motive was the protection of the Jeffersonian tradition, essentially the right to self-government.  What was this Jeffersonian tradition or ideal? It is our lost political heritage of limited government and…
Ryan Walters
July 31, 2017
Blog

You Are Deplorable

Presented at the 2017 Abbeville Institute Summer School. You are deplorable. It is worse than that.  If you are Southern or interested in the South you are the most deplorable of all the deplorables.  There is no place for you among the enlightened and virtuous people of 21st Century America. But perhaps there is a certain advantage to being an…
Clyde Wilson
July 24, 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
Review Posts

Music from the Lake

A review of Music from the Lake and Other Essays by Catharine Savage Brosman (Chronicles Press, 2017). Catharine Savage Brosman is a treasure of Southern literature.  Although much of her work shows her solid Colorado Rocky Mountain upbringing, somehow I do not think she will mind being placed in Southern literature.  Most of her career was spent in New Orleans…
Clyde Wilson
June 7, 2017
Blog

The Alabama Memorial Preservation Act and the Political Market

The political market, as the economic market, has the demand and supply dynamic. Interest groups make demands and the politicians provide the supply. In the case of Confederate memorials, interest groups demand Confederate memorials be dismantled in the public interest; the politicians supply the dismantling. The political market responds to strongest political forces. The strength of interest groups in the…
Marshall DeRosa
June 6, 2017
Review Posts

Hank Williams and the Elusive Redneck

A review of George William Koon, Hank Williams: A Bio-Bibliography, Greenwood Press, 1983. Like it or not, the most lasting symbol of the South is the Redneck. My eight-year-old son thinks General Lee is a car; many of my students don't know in what century the War Between the States was fought, although they are quick to tell me that…
Warren Leamon
May 30, 2017
Blog

Home

Mary Fahl sang the beautiful song, “Going Home,” for the movie Gods and Generals. Such lyrics and tune that reached into my Southern psyche as to remind me of what the fight was all about. They say there's a place where dreams have all gone They never said where but I think I know It's miles through the night just…
Paul H. Yarbrough
May 22, 2017
Blog

A Virtuous Man

Most people probably associate cattle drives with the last century, and the wild West, but out here in Spottswood, in the Shenandoah Valley, there's a man who'll tell you different, and he'll tell you first hand. "Back in the 20's we drove 'em in spring, up in the mountains, thirty miles beyond Monterey — right through the streets of Monterey…
Franklin Debrot
May 18, 2017
Blog

Be Proud You’re a Rebel

I was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America (CSA) from April 1861 to April 1865. Pictured above is the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the city’s famous Monument Avenue. The grand cobblestone street is also adorned with statues of generals J.E.B. Stuart and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Confederate president…
Dissident Mama
May 16, 2017
Blog

The South is America’s Hope

Count Herman Keyserling (1880-1946) was born in Estonia and married the granddaughter of Otto von Bismarck. He was an aristocrat who interested himself in philosophy and the natural sciences; Keyserling deeply believed that gifted individuals were born to rule. The South is America’s Hope “Count Herman Keyserling, philosopher and psychologist, world traveler and author, writes in the November Atlantic Monthly…
Bernard Thuersam
May 15, 2017
Blog

The Search for Life After Pac Man

I have made a discovery. There does, indeed, exist a place where nobody wants to leave. It is possible to breathe there without worrying about what you are inhaling. This place is not infested with joggers or 300-pound shoulder-strap radios, and when you're driving along and meet another car or truck on the road, that other driver is very likely…
Harry Hope
April 21, 2017
Review Posts

Reflections of a Ghost

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
Blog

The Mind of the Old South

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
Blog

The South and Her People

Originally published at www.circa1865.com The conservative and noble Christian civilization of the South described below has all but vanished as the New South of industrial capitalism, materialism and commercial vulgarity supplanted it. Remarks of J.C.C. Black, at the Unveiling of the Benjamin H. Hill Statue, Atlanta, Georgia, May 1, 1886 (excerpt): “As to us, was not prompted by hatred of…
Bernard Thuersam
April 18, 2017
Blog

The Soul of the Southern Tradition

I was born in the North. Nonetheless, I have instructed my attorney, a most honorable Virginian, that when I die he is to see to it that I am buried in that national cemetery at Gettysburg as close as he can possibly get me to the high water mark of the Confederacy. These instructions are based on conviction—the firm conviction…
William Gill
April 17, 2017
Blog

What Was Lost 150 Years Ago

One-hundred and fifty-two years ago, April 9, 1865 was a Palm Sunday just as today, and in the central part of war-torn Virginia, a major turning point occurred in American history. General Robert E. Lee, that "chevalier sans peur"---that knight without fear---surrendered the tattered remnants of the proud Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant, setting in motion the end…
Boyd Cathey
April 13, 2017
Review Posts

Tolerating the South’s Past

The Age of Enlightenment represented the Middle Ages as a Gothic night—an interlude of ignorance and superstition when men were enveloped in a cowl, oblivious to the wonders of knowledge, and concerned only with escape from the miseries of this world and of hell. Voltaire said that Dante was considered a great poet because no one read him, that a…
Blog

On Liberty

Andy Jackson's famous toast, "The Union—it must and shall be preserved," is still recorded in most high school U.S. history books. Calhoun's once equally famous reply, "Next to our liberties, most dear," has slipped out of many recent editions. Like most of the South, Calhoun was on the losing side of the liberty versus union debate. After the Second War…
Thomas Fleming
April 3, 2017
Blog

Southern Heritage Then and Now

Order of the Southern Cross Banquet, Sons of Confederate Veterans National Reunion, Asheville, North Carolina, August 1, 2003 As the direct descendant of a private in the 42nd North Carolina and a sergeant in the 20th North Carolina, I am honoured to talk to a group descended from notable officers in our War of Independence--or the War to Prevent Southern…
Clyde Wilson
March 22, 2017
Review Posts

The Shining Spirits

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
Blog

The South’s Gonna Do It Again

A few days ago I ran into an old friend, an historian, who started in on the Partisan. "I've lived all my life in the South," he grumbled, "but I don't see what makes Southern life so wonderful that you and your friends want to impose it on the rest of the country." I did my best to reassure him…
Thomas Fleming
March 15, 2017
Blog

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
Blog

The Sense of “Southernizing”

For as long as people have been writing about Southern character—and that's getting to be a pretty long time now—they've been inclined to mention Southern individualism. From Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Mar­quis de Chastellux to Charlie Daniels' "Long-haired Coun­try Boy," Southerners have been inclined to mention or exemplify this trait themselves. W.J. Cash has probably discussed it most thoroughly,…
John Shelton Reed
March 3, 2017
Review Posts

A Pilgrim’s Progress: Nathaniel Hawthorne Reconsidered

At first glance, Nathaniel Hawthorne seems the quintessential Yankee, one not at all likely to be claimed or adopted by Southerners. His great, great, great grandfather, William Hathorne, came to America with John Winthrop's company in 1630. William and his son John were Puritans; they are conspicuous in history books as great persecutors of Quakers and witches. The second Hathorne…
Michael Jordan
March 1, 2017
Blog

A Man’s Interest: Sports and the South

I am a Georgian and a University of Georgia alumni. I have been a fan of all the Atlanta sports franchises since I was a kid, and I was a huge fan of the Georgia Bulldogs even before I went there. Needless to say, I was very disappointed by the outcome of the Super Bowl, and since Atlanta/Georgia is a…
Dan E. Phillips
February 9, 2017
Blog

Recovering Southern History

Every historian has a viewpoint, shaped by his own background, values, and perception of the present. The relationship between background and viewpoint is not necessarily simple. As in the case of Supreme Court nominees, one cannot always predict in advance in what direction a historians background, modified by research and thought, will lead. At any rate, we properly measure a…
Clyde Wilson
January 18, 2017
Blog

Papa Daws

Three long ringing signals from I the driver's horn, and the hunt was over. I quit my stand and met Dad on the road back of our line. We had both seen a doe that had kept us on our toes for a while, but otherwise, the drive had been uneventful. We fell quiet and listened. Then Dad asked if…
Henry D. Boykin II
January 12, 2017
Review Posts

Old Western Man: C.S. Lewis and the Old South

I write not as an expert to tell you of my thought but to explain a particular concept of Lewis's and my own application of it to the Old South. Almost everyone knows something about C.S. Lewis as a writer of extremely readable children's books (about the land of Narnia that can be entered through the back of an old…
Sheldon Vanauken
January 10, 2017
Blog

The Year in Review

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
Blog

Why No Southern Nationalism?

In the Partisan's last issue, I raised the question of why the United States has not been troubled in this century by regional nationalisms of the sort that are currently disturbing most other industrialized countries. In particular, I asked, why has there not been a serious version of Southern nationalism? Answering my own question, I suggested that (1) the outcome…
John Shelton Reed
November 11, 2016
Review Posts

The Legacy of Francis Butler Simkins

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
Blog

If This Be Treason….

The polls show that 33 per cent of the public still gives Dubya Bush a favourable approval rating.  Who could these people be? Some of them, no doubt, are well-meaning dupes in the early stages of Alzheimers. But there is a hard core of latent fascism out there. Though they deviously misuse the idea to slander opposition, leftists are not…
Clyde Wilson
October 4, 2016
Blog

Reestablishing the Family Economy: A Biblical Imperative Part 2

Reprinted from The Deliberate Agrarian. We are not called to be slaves. In My Previous Blog Post I wrote about the family economy and posted Returning To The Family Economy, a chapter from a book I wrote in 2005. My premise is, as the title of this essay states, that a family economy is the biblical imperative. An “imperative” is an essential or urgent…
Herrick Kimball
October 3, 2016
Blog

Deep Down in the South

The late 1970s represented the heyday of popular Southern music. Southern rock and "outlaw country" dominated the airwaves. It was chic to say "ya'll," even in Boston, and with the election of Jimmy Carter, it really seemed the "South was gonna' do it again." It wouldn't last. During an interview at Capricorn Studios in Macon, GA one afternoon, Charlie Daniels spit into his cup and…
Brion McClanahan
September 16, 2016
Blog

A Faithful, Southern Fisherman

I was a faithful, Southern fisherman even in New England exile. "Oh, these small mouth bass are fine," I'd tell them, "but when I was a kid back home in Tennessee," blah, blah, blah. "Heck, we'd have won that War if our boys weren't off fishing all the time." I told tales of smiling Southern bass jumping into the boat…
Ted Roberts
September 15, 2016
Review Posts

Rethinking the War for the 21st Century

(13th Annual Gettysburg Banquet of the J.E.B. Stuart Camp, SCV, Philadelphia) ****How Should 21st Century Americans Think about the War for Southern Independence? **** We human beings are peculiar creatures, half angel and half animal, as someone has said. Alone among creatures we have a consciousness of ourselves, of our situation, and of our movement through time. We have language,…
Clyde Wilson
September 14, 2016
Blog

Call Me Simple with Strange Words for Strange Days

Call me simple... But I don’t understand: Why the government spends billions on welfare but people keep saying hunger is a big problem. Why the government spends billions on education and the population gets dumber and dumber. Why the government spends billions on “intelligence” and defense but could not prevent 9/11. Why pointless filthy language has taken over in popular…
Clyde Wilson
September 7, 2016
Review Posts

Choosing Southernness: Southern With an Italian Accent

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
Review Posts

The South as an Independent Nation

This article was originally published in Southern Partisan Magazine in 1997. "Being a Southerner is a spiritual condition, like being a Catholic or Jew." So wrote Richard Weaver in his essay "The South and the American Union" in The Lasting South (1957). The South's experience during the war for its independence, he added, only confirmed this separateness of spirit and…
William Cawthon
September 1, 2016
Review Posts

Reflections of a Ghost: An Agrarian View After Fifty Years

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

The Inside War

Editor's Note: This article was originally published at The Southern Literary Review and is an interview with author Robert J. Ernst by Allen Mendenhall covering Ernst's book, The Inside War. APM: Thanks for taking the time to sit down for this interview, Bob. Your novel The Inside War is about an Appalachian mountain family during the Civil War. How long…
Allen Mendenhall
August 5, 2016
Review Posts

American Culture: Massachusetts or Virginia

Delivered at the 2016 Abbeville Institute Summer School. A Frenchman has observed that the qualities of a culture may be identified by two characteristics--- its manners and its cuisine. If that is so, then we can safely say that the United States, except for the South, has no culture at all. Aside from the South the only American contributions to…
Clyde Wilson
August 3, 2016
Review Posts

Are Southerners Different?

This essay appeared in the 1984 winter issue of Southern Partisan magazine. In the best of all possible worlds, President Reagan, George Will, William Buckley and I—conservatives all—or so it would appear—should be able to sit down over glasses of sour mash and find ourselves in such sweet agreement on the range of problems facing the world and the humankind…
Blog

Culture War

Transcend yourself and join in the universal struggle to bring about the self-transcendence of all men! –Karl Marx Culture, as the term is used in America in our times, covers a vast territory with ill-defined frontiers. There is primitive culture (flint spearheads, animal and human sacrifice). There is high culture (Shakespeare, Michelangelo). There is, or used to be, folk culture…
Clyde Wilson
July 14, 2016
Blog

Nathan Bedford Forrest

This essay was published as a new introduction for Lytle's Bedford Forrest and His Critter Company and is published here in honor of Forrest's birthday, July 13. This is a young man's book. To have anything more to say about a book you did fifty odd years ago brings you hard up against the matter of time. The young author…
Andrew Nelson Lytle
July 13, 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
Blog

Who Will Be Our Monuments Men?

The 2014 movie “Monuments Men” exposed a little known aspect of the horrors of Hitler’s Aryan supremacist totalitarian regime – the looting of priceless historical treasures and cultural purge of peoples he viewed as inferior. In the years leading up to American involvement in WWII, art historians around the world were in an uproar, concerned about systematic theft and destruction…
Lunelle McCallister
June 10, 2016
Blog

How (and Why) to Dress Like a (Southern) Conservative, Part I

I probably should not admit this due to certain… ummm… shall we say… stereotypes, but since I was a young adult, I have had a particular interest in fashion. For the record, I am married with six children. Probably reflecting my underlying conservative disposition, however, I was always more concerned with the “rules” of fashion, such as they were in…
Dan E. Phillips
June 9, 2016
Review Posts

Agrarianism and Cultural Renewal

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
Blog

Southern Family

What makes the South, the South?  Most modern Americans would say football and grits sprinkled with a bit of country music and NASCAR. These clichés hold true for many Southerners today, but what made the South before the commercialization of the American economy was a commitment to land, family, and God.  It was both a temporal and a spiritual understanding…
Brion McClanahan
May 23, 2016
Review Posts

Southern Voices

Southern Voices: Poems by William H. Holcombe, M. D. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1872. We hail this volume as a beautiful presage of the future of the South in the department of poetry In saying that it is worthy of the author, who, for several years past, has been a brilliant star in the literary firmament of the…
Review Posts

Remember Us

Delivered May 6, 2016 in Columbia, SC. Archibald MacLeish was a 20th century poet, author and three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He wrote the following about the lost soldier: We were young. We have died. Remember us. We have done what we could but until It is finished it is not done. We have given our lives but until…
Herbert Chambers
May 10, 2016
Review Posts

Women of the Southern Confederacy

Editor's Note: A Mother's Day special dedicated to all Southern wives and mothers, this piece was originally published in 1877 in Bledsoe's The Southern Review. It is strange how we undervalue the historical interest of contemporaneous events, and how careless most persons are of preserving any record of the most stirring incidents that mark their own pathway through life. While…
Blog

Secession of the Heart

A dear friend of mine, a Harp like myself but born and raised in the Deep North, repeated to me for the umpteenth time one of the most persistent of all Southern stereotypes, the duplicitous Southerner. This type is all smiles and sweetness, until the proper time comes to lower the boom. As my friend put it, “No, we are…
John Devanny
May 6, 2016
Blog

Healing the Wounds of War

Over the years, countless thousands the New Yorkers have passed by monuments in their city that were dedicated to two eminent physicians who were related by marriage, but there is little doubt that few of them, until recently at least, had ever realized that the statues were erected in memory of former Southerners. The two men of medicine were Dr.…
John Marquardt
April 22, 2016