A SOUTHERN READER by Willard- Ed. Thorp


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This is real southern hospitality as through some 1000 pages a northerner transmits the excitement- and exoticism- he has found in this part of the country, and selections from books, letters, speeches, diaries reveal not only a tremendous task of research but a rewarding diversification of material. Thus you will find that U. S. Grant, William Cullen Bryant, Jefferson and Jackson and Clay, Sherwood Anderson and Hodding Carter (even a Supreme Court Decision) make up a happy confederacy of contributors old and new. An earlier commentator was to observe that It was the total effect of Southern conditions.... to preserve the Southerner's original simplicity of character as it were in perpetual suspension"", to deplore the lack of intellectual culture. Much of this has certainly been negated through the years- and in the section here on ""Arts"", the poetry and spirituals, the writing of Poe and Welty, Faulkner and Wolfe provide a substantial heritage. The material is topically grouped- ranges from the land and those who work it, to the rivers, the southerners at home, his education, sports and pastimes, his military glory, his politics, his religion. Cities and Towns, Business and industry complete the physical landscape, while The TrocHe in the Mirror and The Negro provide two particularly interesting reflections on the psycho-sociological character of those who people it... An impressive introduction to the South, perhaps not for the casual reader, but for all who want to spend some time there with a broad company or commentators.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1955
Publisher: Knopf