Deep South

Memory and Observation

Title Details

Pages: 272

Trim size: 139.700mm x 215.900mm



Pub Date: 04/01/1995

ISBN: 9-780-8203-1716-8

List Price: $24.95

Deep South

Memory and Observation

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  • Description
  • Reviews

Portraying a region steeped religious piety and ritual, excess and prejudice, Deep South is a product both of Erskine Caldwell the storyteller and Erskine Caldwell the minister's son.

Reverend Ira Sylvester Caldwell's missionary work took him and his family deep into the region commonly referred to as the Bible Belt. His son, Erskine, was at his side on innumerable home visits with the elderly, sick, and poor of Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Florida. By the time the younger Caldwell left home at seventeen, he had also witnessed such varieties of religious experience as "Church of God all-night camp meetings, Holy Roller exhibitions on splintery wooden floors, primitive Christian baptismal immersions in muddy creeks, Seventh-Day Adventist foot-washings, Body of Christ blood-drinking communions, Kingdom of God snakehandlings, Full Redeemer glossolalia services, Fire Baptized Holiness street-corner rallies, Catholic mass at midnight on Christmas Eve, the rituals of Jewish synagogues, and . . . philosophical lectures in Unitarian churches."

Decades later, Caldwell drew on this fertile background when he toured Georgia and neighboring states in order to hear firsthand from ministers and churchgoers about how southern Protestantism was faring amid the social upheaval of the mid-1960s. Deep South offers a rich mix of anecdotes, memories, interviews, and observations that point to what may be the true essence of southern spirituality.

Many of the episodic stories could easily stand on their own, but it is the collage of characters and southern religions which makes the book so vivid

Religious Studies Review

A colorful, nostalgic account . . . Deep South is sharply observant and evokes a certain time with telling accuracy.

Savannah News-Press

About the Author/Editor

ERSKINE CALDWELL (1903-1987) was born in Newnan, Georgia. He became one of America's most widely read, prolific, and critically debated writers, with a literary output of more than sixty titles. At the time of his death, Caldwell's books had sold eighty million copies worldwide in more than forty languages. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1984.