A companion to the American South

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For additional information, see the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab No additional import charges on delivery Delivery: Varies Payments: Special financing available. An error occurred, please try again. Acceptable: A book with obvious wear. List of Contributors. Part I: the Colonial South. The Origins of Slavery. The ensuing fifteen years have witnessed a comparable evolution, and it is surely not too soon for a sequel to the collection.

In the present volume twenty-nine essays sum up the state of the field today, compared to thirteen in the Boles and Nolen offering, and although this is partly a matter of how the pie is sliced, it is also a measure of the growing depth and breadth of the field.

Perhaps most dramatic is the contrast in the earliest period, for here we have five essays addressing the years before , including chapters devoted to Indians, and the Spanish and French, where there was one in the earlier volume. Other areas receiving more attention are predictable: women, marginalized groups, the environment, and the most recent decades. The advent of on-line search engines and data bases have made it possible for scholars to quickly compile bibliographies and abstracts, easing the otherwise formidable task of keeping up with even a small corner of an academic field as large as the American South.

However, these digital tools have not rendered a volume such as this one obsolete, for we still need carefully wrought historiographical essays by scholars who have read widely and deeply and can synthesize a long list of sources gracefully and provocatively. This is what the present volume provides, and so we share our debt to Boles with the twenty nine-scholars who have, quibbles aside, performed their tasks admirably. There will, of course, be arguments about the treatment of individual books, and the priorities of the writers as to the volumes they consider most influential, but I applaud the essayists who chose, first, to begin with the classics in their fields, no matter how old, and second, to devote more space to a smaller number of books, placing them in context and allowing them the room needed for careful evaluation.

Often a page or even two, and occasionally more, are devoted to a single work. Some chapters offer a narrative structure into which the most significant interpretations are woven. In every chapter, many other works are evaluated briefly, and even more are cited in the bibliographies, which in some cases list over one hundred titles.

But the approach taken in these chapters avoids the tendency of one paragraph per book, which falsely implies an equality of value. Lacking the will to summarize all twenty-nine chapters, I offer my eccentric selection of and comments on some of the book's essays. Amy Turner Bushnell's essay on Indians in the early south offers a trenchant survey of what for most southernists is an obscure area.

Blackwell Companions to American History | Awards | LibraryThing

She describes the "new Indian history" which "is more conscious of relationships among Indian nations and of intercultural spaces. Cynthia Kierner discusses the trend away from individual colonial histories and toward subregional and community studies that focus on social and cultural history. She devotes eight pages to the Chesapeake and four to the Carolinas and Georgia, reflecting her sense of the relative wealth of the studies she examines.

In both cases, older works, by Edmund Morgan and Peter Wood, still define the terms of scholarly debate. Betty Wood's treatment of slavery to is a particularly excellent example of the historiographer's art. In the last essay in Part 1, Ira D. Gruber treats the Revolutionary era in the form of a dialogue on the importance of ideology versus rational self-interest.

He shows how the current generation has either built upon the work of Bernard Bailyn and Gordon Wood, as in the case of Jack N.

ISBN 13: 9780631224044

His conclusion: the rational self-interest crowd has had the better of it lately. Part 2, covering the antebellum South, is the longest section, with eight essays. Mark Smith's essay on the plantation economy focuses on the perennial question of profitability.

Beginning with U. His conclusion: "slavery was profitable as a business but probably damaging for the southern economy as a whole" p. Stephanie Shaw's essay on slave culture effectively creates a dialogue among the authors she examines. She describes the works of Phillips, Herbert Aptheker, Kenneth Stampp and Stanley Elkins as the "cornerstones for the historiography of antebellum slavery," and then treats subsequent writers in terms of their positions relative to these four on a range of questions.

She masterfully shows how more light on one question triggers further inquiry on others, creating a self-sustaining industry of slavery studies that has attracted some of the most gifted scholars in the field. Samuel Hyde, Jr.

ISBN 13: 9780631224044

Here we have an example of the many redundancies in the book; Isaac especially was treated extensively in earlier essays, but the comparisons are interesting and so the redundancy is not resented. The first major section, concentrating on themes and issues, looks at the distinctive cultural characteristics of the American South and includes discussion of the visual arts, music, society, history and politics. The second focuses on writers who have made significant contributions to Southern thinking and the imaginative reinvention of the South.

He is also editor of a number of collections and anthologies, and a regular reviewer for various newspapers and journals, including the Times Literary Supplement and the Literary Review. He is the first specialist in American literature to be elected a Fellow of the British Academy. He is currently working on writing centred on New Orleans, and on reader-writer relations in African American literature.

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  7. This book: includes discussion of the visual arts, music, society, history, and politics in the region; combines treatment of major literary works and historical events with a survey of broader themes, movements and issues; and, explores the work of Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, Zora Neale Huston, Flannery O'Connor and Eudora Welty, as well as those - black and white, male and female - who are writing now.

    It is co-edited by the esteemed scholar Richard Gray, author of the acclaimed volume, "A History of American Literature" Blackwell, Seller Inventory AAH Book Description Condition: New.

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