Welcome to Eclectic: The Editor’s Reading List on “Nobody’s Home”

Even before the project’s inception in summer 2020, I knew that an Editor’s Reading List would be a component of Nobody’s Home: Modern Southern Folklore. This project mixes the literary anthology format with aspects of the blog, news aggregator, curriculum resource, and listserv formats. Within that mission, books reviews and recommendations about longer works on those subjects seem necessary.

The differences between the factual history and the ensuing beliefs, myths, and narratives is particularly interesting to me. I will admit that reading a two- to four-hundred page book on one aspect of Southern history can be a slog – and even more so if the book is an academic work – but it’s always worth it. Especially if my reviews lead someone else to read into it as well. For each in its own way, the discussions include some version of: here’s what has actually happened, which may or may not be what people think has happened

The books that have been reviewed (linked below) and those whose reviews are forthcoming (listed below them) involve a variety of subjects: film, the environment, race, politics, symbolism, the media, societal trends. To read more, click on the links below, or for even more that, visit the project’s website.

The Editor’s Reading List, a work-in-progress:

The South Never Plays Itself by Ben Beard (2020)

Cathedrals of Kudzu by Hal Crowther (2000)

Myth and Southern History, Volume 2: The New South, edited by Patrick Gerster and Nicholas Cords (1989)

A Movement of the People by Katie Lamar Jackson (2017)

South to a New Place, edited by Suzanne W. Jones and Sharon Monteith (2002) 

The Countercultural South by Jack Temple Kirby (1995)

Media-Made Dixie by Jack Temple Kirby (1986)

The Two-Party South by Alexander P. Lamis (1984)

The Silent Majority by Matthew Lassiter (2007)

Heritage and Hate by Stephen M. Monroe (2021)

The Omni-Americans by Albert Murray (1970)

Outside the Southern Myth by Noel Polk (1997)

One South by John Shelton Reed (1982)

Myth, Media, and the Southern Mind by Stephen A. Smith (1986)

Judgment & Grace in Dixie by Charles Reagan Wilson (1995)

The Politics of White Rights by Joseph Bagley (2018)

Currently reading: Biracial Politics by Chandler Davidson (1972)

Navigating Souths, edited by Michele Grigsby Coffey and Jodi Skipper (2020)

Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State by Andrew Gelman, et al. (2008)

Framing the South by Allison Graham (2001)

Southern Politics in the 1990s by Alexander P. Lamis (1999)

The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism by Matthew Lassiter and Joseph Crespino (2010)

The South of the Mind by Zachary J. Lechner (2018)

Getting Right with God by Mark Newman (2001)

In Search of the Silent South by Morton Sosna (1977)

Deep South by Paul Theroux (2015)

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