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American Counterpoint: Slavery and Racism in the North-South Dialogue

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31 review for American Counterpoint: Slavery and Racism in the North-South Dialogue

  1. 4 out of 5

    Isidore

    Woodward, not yet twenty years in the grave, has gone from towering over Southern historiography to getting three ratings and no reviews at all for this invaluable collection of essays. As he says in his piece on W. J. Cash, "In America, historians, like politicians, are out as soon as they are down." The book contains ten essays. They are all stimulating, informative and engagingly written. "The Southern Ethic in a Puritan World" starts out as an exploration of the mythical (or is it?) conflict Woodward, not yet twenty years in the grave, has gone from towering over Southern historiography to getting three ratings and no reviews at all for this invaluable collection of essays. As he says in his piece on W. J. Cash, "In America, historians, like politicians, are out as soon as they are down." The book contains ten essays. They are all stimulating, informative and engagingly written. "The Southern Ethic in a Puritan World" starts out as an exploration of the mythical (or is it?) conflict between Southern "laziness" and the Northern work-ethic, and fans out into a concise outline of Woodward's views of Southern social trends through the Populist period. "Protestant Slavery in a Catholic World" has less to offer, partly because much more substantial work has since been done on the relationship between Southern and Latin-American slavery, but also because to a considerable degree Woodward is simply taking the opportunity to introduce American readers to the work of Brazilian historian Gilberto Freyre. Similarly, "A Southern War Against Capitalism" is an excellent introduction to the work of the ever-entertaining George Fitzhugh (it was in fact first published as the preface to CVW's edition of Cannibals All!), and "A Southern Brief for Racial Equality" brings to attention the career of maverick racial progressive Lewis Harvie Blair, which was altogether new to me. "The Northern Crusade Against Slavery" is a highpoint in the collection, and should be mandatory reading for admirers of Northern triumphalism. Making use of Voegeli and Litwack and others, Woodward offers some home truths about the title subject. "Seeds of Failure in Radical Race Policy" is also excellent. There are also pieces on Plessy v. Ferguson and the mystery of exponential population growth among Southern slaves, the aforementioned critique of Cash's The Mind of the South (exploring some obvious but widely ignored problems with this much-admired work), and an essay on the controversy surrounding Woodward's own The Strange Case of Jim Crow. I can't imagine anyone interested in Southern history not profiting from Woodward's observations, assuming they are not wholly captured by early 21st-century groupthink.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  3. 5 out of 5

    Darius Liddell

  4. 4 out of 5

    Quincy Lehr

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  6. 5 out of 5

    Yasmin

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erika

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ted Morgan

  9. 4 out of 5

    G

  10. 5 out of 5

    Zach

  11. 5 out of 5

    Becky Snow

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  13. 5 out of 5

    BookDB

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessey Marta

  15. 4 out of 5

    Purplemonkeydishwasher

  16. 4 out of 5

    George

  17. 4 out of 5

    Quintillis K.

  18. 4 out of 5

    C

  19. 5 out of 5

    Greg

  20. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alex The Ninja Squirrel

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gus

  24. 5 out of 5

    Donald Forster

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Anzaldo

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Ryan Jordan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lashunda

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joe Liporace

  30. 4 out of 5

    J.

  31. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Joseph Pegoda

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