The Mind of the South
Fifty Years Later
Scholarly debate about W. J. Cash and one of the most influential books ever written about the American South
This probing collection of essays assesses the wide influence of W. J. Cash and the profound effect of his classic dissection of southern history.
Perhaps more than any other historian, W. J. Cash revolutionized the interpretation of southern identity. In 1941, when he published The Mind of the South, he exploded the correlated myths of the Cavalier South and the New South and gave historiography a new gauge for examining Dixie.
In the half century since its publication, Cash's book has lain in the path of every historian of the South. Not all, however, have expressed unified opinions about him and his influence, though few can deny how in the past fifty years his indelible and authoritative work has shaped the writing of southern history.
In "The Mind of the South": Fifty Years Later eleven scholars examine this classic study and assess its enduring importance. Bruce Clayton begins by discussing the biography of Cash and tracing his sources. In the subsequent five essays Cash is praised, evaluated, criticized, defended, classified, and acknowledged to be the lion in the crossroads of southern historiography.