America's "South" of the Mind, 1960–1980

Jul 16, 2019

In his book, The South of the Mind: American Imaginings of White Southernness, 1960–1980 (2018, UGA Press), Zachary J. Lechner bridges the fields of southern studies and southern history in an effort to discern how conceptions of a tradition-bound, "timeless" South shaped Americans' views of themselves and their society's political and cultural fragmentations, following the turbulent 1960s.

The Byrds pop group arrives at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, June 23, 1970. The Byrds were one of many west-coast musical groups and solo artists to popularize music rooted in the rural South.
Credit National Archives, Denmark

Lechner talks with Walter Edgar about the iconography of the white South during the civil rights movement; hippies' fascination with white southern life; the Masculine South of George Wallace, Walking Tall, and Deliverance; and the "Changing South." The South of the Mind demonstrates that we cannot hope to understand recent U.S. history without exploring how people have conceived the South, as well as what those conceptualizations have omitted.

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