Sunday, August 19, 2007

Making a New South: Race, Leadership, and Community after the Civil War

Edited by Paul A. Cimbala, Barton C. Shaw, John David Smith

From the publisher:
"Rarely does one see a collection that is so unified in both theme and execution. This fresh and insightful volume will make a substantial contribution to historical scholarship on the New South." -- Thomas H. Appleton, Jr., Eastern Kentucky University

By focusing on specific communities, these essays examine the efforts of individuals and small groups to build their vision of the New South. Ranging across the region, from Texas to Virginia, the essays examine specific events at the city or state level.

Naturally, politics and race play a major role, from white Republicans in post-emancipation North Carolina to Northern Mississippi Rural Legal Services in the 1970s. Depression-era Atlanta, segregated Louisville, South Carolina governors, and the way memory affects race in twentieth-century Waco are among the broad range of studies offered in this collection.

The contributors to Making a New South explore how white southerners attempted to rebuild their society after suffering defeat during the Civil War and how black southerners worked to establish themselves as free people with all the rights they believed that emancipation had promised to them. Collectively, these essays reveal the public endeavors of idealistic and pragmatic southerners of all races, including preachers, politicians, and public servants, to remake their world in the century following Reconstruction.