How should a Southerner face existence in a degenerating American regime in which the traditions of our identity as a people are a prime target for destruction? The persistence of current attacks would seem to guarantee that the South before long will be as if it never existed.
There is no short and clear answer to this dilemma, but it is one worth consideration by thoughtful people.
Dr. John Devanny has provided us with a relevant and useful discussion in his Continuities: The South in a Time of Revolution (Shotwell Publishing, 2022). Though a Ph.D. in History (with an economic emphasis) Devanny writes in a graceful conversational style, easily read. His work in reminiscent of the great literate journals of the 18th and 19th century Anglo-American public deliberation.
Dr. Devanny has the experience of living in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia with a vocation of teaching in private academies. His 21 essays are rich in present-day observations about agrarianism (both hands-on for today and historically), Southern politics and the Jeffersonian tradition, the Reconstruction of our “old-time religion,” and much else.
His reflections on current Southern life and its direction cover football, hunting and the disappearance of bob-white, the right to keep and bear arms, the poisoning of education (from first-hand experience), the deceitful distortion of our history, misunderstandings of our fellow citizens above the Potomac and Ohio, and much else.
There are still millions of us who value our identity and who, like Faulkner, think that being Southern is a good thing. The reading portion of our group will do well to contemplate Devanny’s perceptive wisdom on our current condition and our prospects.