Redefining Southern Culture
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Redefining Southern Culture

Mind and Identity in the Modern South

Title Details

Pages: 264

Trim size: 6.120in x 9.250in



Pub Date: 08/01/1999

ISBN: 9-780-8203-2139-4

List Price: $29.95

Redefining Southern Culture

Mind and Identity in the Modern South

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  • Description
  • Reviews

From the creation of the first “New South” in the wake of Appomattox to the current struggles over the Confederate flag, Redefining Southern Culture surveys the remarkable story of southern identity and its persistence in the face of sweeping changes in the South’s economy, society, and political structure. Rejecting the conventional continuity-versus-change framework, James C. Cobb instead illustrates how the evolution of southern culture synthesized these two forces in recent years. Throughout this lively and engaging volume, Cobb examines southern identity in its constantly changing forms, from history and literature to blues and country music to popular and consumer cultures. Cobb also presents the first detailed account of the efforts of African Americans in the South to reclaim their identity as southerners and to construct their own symbolic and substantive representations of what that identity means.

The essays in Redefining Southern Culture reflect James C. Cobb’s career-long interest in exploring southern cultural identity and the interaction of this identity with the economic, social, and political forces that have transformed the region. Written in a refreshingly straightforward and engaging style, this book promises thoughtful reading for anyone interested in the modern South and will be a valuable resource for courses in southern history and culture.

Redefining Southern Culture will undoubtably be a significant book for historians and other scholars interested in the South. Cobb has original and sage observations and his range is impressive. Cobb is at ease in dealing with issues of both economic development and cultural expression, and he engages familiar figures in this manuscript—the writers of the Southern Literary Renaissance, historian C. Vann Woodward, journalist W. J. Cash, sociologist Howard Odem, and contemporary African American writers who are reimagining the South.

—Charles Reagan Wilson, author of Judgment and Grace in Dixie

Cobb's work draws upon the writing of many historians, and his notes provide for a rich bibliography . . . Highly recommended.

Library Journal

James C. Cobb has a distinguished record of helping to sort out the complexities of tradition and modernity in the American South. . . . Cobb's prose is deft and graceful . . . . This is a book that deserves a wide audience and a careful reading, by soccer moms and neo-Confederates alike.

Raleigh News and Observer

[Cobb] exhibits the skills of a talented folklorist as well as historian of southern music in presenting with great detail the stories, songs, and voices of history that fascinate the imagination . . . He brings the long dead past into sharp focus . . . Cobb brings to his study a great and useful range of cultural history and wonderful detail.

Southern Literary Journal

Cobb is witty and always stimulating in bringing together issues of the South’s cultural identity and its economic development—as no one else writing on the South does so well.

Southern Register

People interested in the South and its place in the greater scheme of things need to pay attention to what Jim Cobb has to say.

Anniston Star

Readers who want a broad scholarly treatment of southern culture and its continuous state of change will find this book to be educational, balanced and interesting.

Tampa Tribune

Very few historians can turn their hand to both economic and cultural history but James Cobb is one of them.

Mississippi Quarterly

About the Author/Editor

JAMES C. COBB is the B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Georgia. His numerous publications include Redefining Southern Culture and The Brown Decision, Jim Crow, and Southern Identity (both Georgia), Away Down South, The Selling of the South: The Southern Crusade for Industrial Development, 1936-1990 and The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity.