Cover, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. vii

List of Illustrations

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p. ix

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

There are many people, institutions, and associations who made this book possible. The process of researching and writing has taken longer than expected and my memory is weaker; thus I offer a preemptive apology to those I have neglected to acknowledge...

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Introduction: Regional, National, and Global Designs

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pp. 1-17

In 1920 Henry Louis Mencken published a scathing essay titled “The Sahara of the Bozart” in which he derided the American South for its lack of culture, political ignorance, degraded Anglo-Saxon stock, and “vexatious public problems.” He remarked...

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1. The “Southern Problem” and Readjustment

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pp. 18-57

In the first decade of the twentieth century President Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “The problem of any one part of our great common country should be held to be the problem of all our country.”1 Roosevelt’s statement echoed what many Americans had already come to believe, that the...

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2. The Menace of the Diseased South

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pp. 58-94

In May 1914 in Memphis, Tennessee, the Southern Sociological Congress gathered to address the social and economic problems of the South. James McCulloch, a clergyman and social reformer from Alabama, noted in the introductory remarks of the published conference proceedings...

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3. The White Plague of Cotton

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pp. 95-134

Nowhere is the paradox of progress and poverty in the New South more apparent than in the region’s reliance on and devotion to cotton. Writing in the Independent, G. L. Fossick proclaimed, “Cotton is the South’s blessing or its curse; at once its hope and its greatest...

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4. The Poor White Problem as the “New Race Question”

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pp. 135-174

In April 1902 the Arena published a national article cautioning that the South now faced a greater problem than the “negro question.” S. A. Hamilton, from Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania, described how this “new ‘race question’” had “approached so insidiously, and from so unexpected...

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5. The “Race Problem” and the Fiction of the Color Line

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pp. 175-215

In the summer of 1890 over one hundred white philanthropists, reformers, politicians, newspaper editors, and clergymen from across the country met to discuss the “Negro question” at Lake Mohonk in Ulster County, New York. It was not the first such gathering at Lake Mohonk....

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EPILOGUE: The Enduring Paradox of the South

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pp. 216-220

In 1926, Edwin Mims, chair of the literature department at Vanderbilt University, wrote in The Advancing South that “the conflict between the forces of progress and reaction has been going on ever since Appomattox.” Writing on the heels of the Scopes trial in Dayton...

Notes

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pp. 221-268

Bibliography

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pp. 269-302

Index

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pp. 303-334