“When the American Nation Finds Itself Culturally . . .”

By June 19, 2014Blog

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Hermann Keyserling was an Austrian writer quite well-known internationally in the early 20th century for his philosophical works and travel accounts. After an extended visit to the U.S., he published in 1929 an essay in a popular American magazine which included this passage:

“When the American nation finds itself culturally, the hegemony will inevitably pass over to the South. There alone can there be a question of enduring culture. The region below the Potomac possesses the type that was truly responsible for America’s greatness in the past. This is the type of the Southern gentleman, with the corresponding type of woman. For these are the only types of complete souls that the United States has as yet produced.”

Several decades later, America’s greatest writer of the 20th century, William Faulkner, remarked that if Southern white and black people ever made peace, together they would dominate the United States.

These assertions will appear absurd to many savants of the past and present. But that might be a product of their incomplete souls.

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 www.shotwellpublishing.com, a source  for unreconstructed Southern books.

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