THAT COUNTRY CALLED VIRGINIA by Lona Barksdale

THAT COUNTRY CALLED VIRGINIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Not very long ago a search of reference sources on state material revealed great gaps in regional books for this age level. Here is a book that fits into that groove, containing as it does a great deal of interesting background material on the state of Virginia. Is it the start of a series? We don't know. If so, let's hope subsequent volumes will avoid some of the pitfalls into which this falls. Beloved Virginia is pictured in its golden age of elegant costumes, of a slave traffic justified economically by the author (who emphasizes changing moral standards); the Civil War struggle is dramatized romantically --the South pictured as noble, proud and free, bowed down by the lust, brutality and inferior breeding of the North. The real injustices done by carpet baggers lose their force when the issues of the struggle itself are befogged. And in more recent times, she emphasizes Virginia's wonderful school system, while apparently accepting as fair and right different schools for white and Negro, and a poll tax imposed to restrict the illiterate vote. Reactionaries and apologists will like this book; everyone will find it a mine of information on historical facts and figures; the charm of the region is contagiously conveyed. But the author attempts too evidently to turn back the clock of progress -- of social responsibility -- of ""one world"". In format, the book looks younger than the content level.

Publisher: Knopf