320 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 28 illus., bibl., index
New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture
Volume 4: Myth, Manners, and Memory
This volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture addresses the cultural, social, and intellectual terrain of myth, manners, and historical memory in the American South. Evaluating how a distinct southern identity has been created, recreated, and performed through memories that blur the line between fact and fiction, this volume paints a broad, multihued picture of the region seen through the lenses of belief and cultural practice.
The 95 entries here represent a substantial revision and expansion of the material on historical memory and manners in the original edition. They address such matters as myths and memories surrounding the Old South and the Civil War; stereotypes and traditions related to the body, sexuality, gender, and family (such as debutante balls and beauty pageants); institutions and places associated with historical memory (such as cemeteries, monuments, and museums); and specific subjects and objects of myths, including the Confederate flag and Graceland. Together, they offer a compelling portrait of the "southern way of life" as it has been imagined, lived, and contested.
"The cultural, social, and intellectual terrain of myths, manners, and historical memory in the American south are addressed in this volume that offers a compelling portrait of the Southern way of life as it has been imagined, lived, and contested."
--Forecast (Bridgewater, NJ)
"The collaborative effort of long-time super-star scholars…and a rainbow of rising new lights, The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. . . is living up to its promise of combining old verities with an array of recent scholarly perceptions that make covering everything in only 24 volumes seem to be a short-sighted goal. . . . Wresting a representative snapshot of southern history from the voluminous scrapbooks and long, long library shelves on that subject is a daunting assignment, and Wilson deserves praise for taking the risk of producing a good one."
--Index-Journal (Greenwood, SC)
"The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture provide[s] wonderful insight into the history and culture of the American South. By publishing the encyclopedia in multiple volumes, the editors have helped make this rich resource more readily available to the reading public. Future volumes… will be highly anticipated."
--North Carolina Historical Review
"A relaxed yet meticulous prose style suits these eclectic topics. The authors have taken a laid-back attitude, spreading their project over 28 proposed volumes, and ignoring the temptation to cram too much into each book. That's an appropriate decision for an enlightening guide to the mythology and beliefs of the sultry South."
--Post and Courier (Charleston, SC)
“This set represents a solid improvement on a celebrated work. The individual volumes will be essential for scholars of various Southern studies topics.”
"A valuable guide to a complex and culturally rich region that remains distinct amidst change."
--American Reference Books Annual
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