The writings of historian C. Vann Woodward
(1908-1999) challenged the widely-held misconceptions regarding Southern civil rights issues that developed after the American Civil War Reconstruction period.
Many years ago I met the eminent historian C. Vann Woodward
, who had gone to the Soviet Union in 1932.
The author set himself an ambitious goal in 1992 when he published a book that, as he notes in this new edition, was "inspired by the sweep and power of C. Vann Woodward
's Origins of the New South, 1877-1913," written in 1951.
Essays ruminate on his Southern experiences, his Valley of the Shadow Project, interpretations of the war, what caused it, and the failure of the Reconstruction, concluding with an essay in memory of C. Vann Woodward
. Some of the essays were published previously, given as papers, or new to the volume.
In C. Vann Woodward
's classic treatment of southern identity, he notes the distinctive collective experience of the southern people, especially in contrast to the dominant national myths.
Addressing such classic works as C. Vann Woodward
's Origins of the New South as well as more recent studies of the Old South that have virtually ignored the presence of a middle class, Wells makes a compelling argument that a distinct southern middle class developed long before the post-war era, as Woodward concluded, and that it influenced the region in profound ways.
Within the realm of historical studies, Davis suggests that C. Vann Woodward
and Eugene D.
In his classic study of the 1877 compromise, Reunion and Reaction, the historian C. Vann Woodward
asked: "Could the South be induced to combine with the Northern conservatives and become a prop instead of a menace to the new capitalist order?"
Mills Thornton III is professor of history at the University of Michigan and a former student of C. Vann Woodward
"South-by-Northeast: The Journey of C. Vann Woodward
" by Theodore Rosengarten, in Doubletake (Summer 1999), Center for Documentary Studies at Duke Univ., 1317 W.
C. Vann Woodward
: A Southern Historian and His Critics, edited by John Herbert Roper.
The North should watch its moral high-handedness here: C. Vann Woodward
famously documented in The Strange Career of Jim Crow the systematic exclusion of blacks from public life in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and other Northern cities in the decades before the Civil War, and as late as the 1930s all of the border states, including Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, and Oklahoma, mandated some forms of segregation.