The South of the Mind

Dec 7, 2020

Credit Virginia State Parks [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

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

Wide-ranging chapters detail 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; the differing southern rock stylings of the Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd; and the healing southerners of Jimmy Carter. 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.

-(Originally broadcast 07/19/19) - 

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