The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism

The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism

3.63 (22 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 360 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 385.55g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 28 black and white halftone illustrations
  • 019538475X
  • 9780195384758
  • 2,058,599

Review quote

This is an interesting book...The volume is well crafted and well worth reading and considering seriously. * he Journal of Southern History *show more

About Matthew Lassiter

Matthew D. Lassiter is Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, and author of The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton University Press, 2006). Joseph Crespino is Associate Professor of History at Emory University, and author of Author in Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution (Princeton University Press, 2007). of History, Emory University. Author of In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution (Princeton UP, 2007)show more

Table of contents

PART ONE: THE NORTHERN MYSTIQUE; PART TWO: IMAGINING THE SOUTH; PART THREE: BORDER CROSSINGS; PART FOUR: POLITICAL REALIGNMENTshow more

Rating details

22 ratings
3.63 out of 5 stars
5 14% (3)
4 50% (11)
3 27% (6)
2 5% (1)
1 5% (1)
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