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Poverty, disease, and illiteracy had long bedeviled the U.S. South, even before the agricultural depression of the 1920s became subsumed within the Great Depression of the 1930s. The essays collected in this volume examine a variety of responses to economic depression and poverty. They recount specific battles for civil, educational, and labor rights, and explore the challenges and alternatives to the corporate South in the post World War II agribusiness era. Scholars from both the U.S. and Europe assess how far the South has come in the last century, what forces (from the Sears Roebuck Catalog to the Civil Rights Movement) have been at work in its transformation, and whether the region's reincarnation as the Sunbelt has lifted the burdens of southern history. Contributors assess labor strikes and demonstrations that have not always found a place in histories of the region and revisit and reassess key southern figures from Erskine Caldwell and James Agee to Albert Gore and Lyndon Johnson. They draw our attention to neglected writers whose representations of poverty deserve more critical attention, and they provide critical analysis of contemporary authors and filmmakers.
VU University Press
poverty, U.S. South, economic conditions, southern history
School of Arts and Sciences
American Studies | Economic History
Jones, Suzanne W., and Mark Newman, eds. Poverty and Progress in the U.S. South since 1920. Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2006.