The student radicals and New Leftists of the 1960s and 1970s are now the ruling elite of the U.S.  They naturally celebrate themselves as the heroes of that period of American history.  But neither then or now are they representatives of the majority of the American people.  They are affluent spoiled brats who know  nothing of the life of  middle and working class Americans, who they then and now regard with contempt.

Joseph Scotchie’s memoir  of growing up during that period is a memorable record of real life:  The Asheville Connection:  The Making of a Conservative (Shotwell Publishing, 2023).  A portrait of the Americans who worked for a living, treasured family including the extended branches, went to church, helped their neighbours, and took responsibility for their communities.  A time when boys delivered papers and mowed lawns for pocket money and followed their favourite sports teams.  And girls wore skirts to school.

Scotchie is the biographer of Patrick Buchanan and the author of  nine  previous  Southern and paleoconservative books. His latest recreates the normal world that most of us grew up in that time, as he did in Asheville, North Carolina, and in summers with grandparents in Youngstown, Ohio.

Added to personal experiences, The Asheville Connection gives a running account of the development of his and his family’s evolution in political views from the Kennedy era onward.  He makes clear how many of us came to reject the wreckage  the New Leftists inflicted on the Christian morality and patriotism of a normal healthy society—and thus became “paleoconservatives.”  

In conclusion the author cites Hank Williams, Jr.’s “If Heaven ain’t a lot like Dixie, I don’t want to go.”  If Heaven doesn’t reflect the sound Southern  place of his upbringing, “I might just want to take a pass myself.”

Clyde Wilson

Clyde Wilson is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina where he was the editor of the multivolume The Papers of John C. Calhoun. He is the M.E. Bradford Distinguished Chair at the Abbeville Institute. He is the author or editor of over thirty books and published over 600 articles, essays and reviews and is co-publisher of, a source  for unreconstructed Southern books.


  • scott thompson says:

    the south , i think, could handle a lot of stuff…even it it wasnt pretty. without Yankee creepiness.

  • David LeBeau says:

    I always look forward to reading the GOAT’s work. If you do not own a copy of Mr. Wilson’s “Defending Dixie,” then I recommend that you get you one for your at home library. I will certainly look up Mr. Scotchie’s work.

    On the topic of the current political climate, I will be watching the GOP presidential debate tonight. It’s not that I like any of them because I don’t, my interests is how the Republicans answer any questions on foreign policy, mainly on the Russian-Ukraine war. You know the war that NATO and the USA started. I’m certain that no candidates will take the Thomas Jefferson approach of non-intervention.

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