Myth of Southern Exceptionalism

ISBN-10: 019538475X
ISBN-13: 9780195384758
Edition: 2009
List price: $28.95 Buy it from $20.64
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Description: More than one-third of the population of the United States now lives in the South, a region where politics, race relations, and the economy have changed dramatically since World War II. Yet historians and journalists continue to disagree over  More...

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Book details

List price: $28.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/19/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 360
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

More than one-third of the population of the United States now lives in the South, a region where politics, race relations, and the economy have changed dramatically since World War II. Yet historians and journalists continue to disagree over whether the modern South is dominating, deviating from, or converging with the rest of the nation. Has the time come to declare the end of southern history? And how do the stories of American history change if the South is no longer seen as a region apart--as the conservative counterpoint to a liberal national ideal? The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism challenges the idea of southern distinctiveness in order to offer a new way of thinking about modern American history. For too long, the belief in an exceptional South has encouraged distortions and generalizations about the nation's otherwise liberal traditions, especially by compartmentalizing themes of racism, segregation, and political conservatism in one section of the country. This volume dismantles popular binaries--of de facto versus de jure segregation, red state conservatism versus blue state liberalism, the "South" versus the "North"--to rewrite the history of region and nation alike. Matthew Lassiter and Joseph Crespino present thirteen essays--framed by their provocative introduction--that reinterpret major topics such as the civil rights movement in the South and the North, the relationship between conservative backlash and liberal reform throughout the country, the rise of the Religious Right as a national phenomenon, the emergence of the metropolitan Sunbelt, and increasing suburban diversity in a multiracial New South. By writing American history across regional borders, this volume spends as much time outside as inside the traditional boundaries of the South, moving from Mississippi to New York City, from Southern California to South Carolina, from Mexico to Atlanta, from Hollywood to the Newport Folk Festival, and from the Pentagon to the Attica prison rebellion.

Contributors
Introduction: The End of Southern History
The Northern Mystique
De Jure/De Facto Segregation: The Long Shadow of a National Myth
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Civil Rights Movement outside the South
Blinded by a "Barbaric" South: Prison Horrors, Inmate Abuse, and the Ironic History of American Penal Reform
Imagining the South
Mississippi as Metaphor: Civil Rights, the South, and the Nation in the Historical Imagination
Black as Folk: The Southern Civil Rights Movement and the Folk Music Revival
Red Necks, White Sheets, and Blue States: The Persistence of Regionalism in the Politics of Hollywood
Border Crossings
A Nation in Motion: Norfolk, the Pentagon, and the Nationalization of the Metropolitan South, 1941-1953
The Cold War at the Grassroots: Militarization and Modernization in South Carolina
African-American Suburbanization and Regionalism in the Modern South
Latin American Immigration and the New Multiethnic South
Political Realignment
Into the Political Thicket: Reapportionment and the Rise of Suburban Power
Beyond the Southern Cross: The National Origins of the Religious Right
Neo-Confederacy versus the New Deal: The Regional Utopia of the Modern American Right
Index

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