The New Mind of the South by Tracy Thompson

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..."The New Mind of the South" is a likable book. It is plain that Ms. Thompson has read and traveled a great deal in writing it.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

There are those who say the South has disappeared. But in her groundbreaking, thought-provoking exploration of the region, Tracy Thompson, a Georgia native and Pulitzer Prize finalist, asserts that it has merely drawn on its oldest tradition: an ability to adapt and transform itself.

Thompson spent years traveling through the region and discovered a South both amazingly similar and radically different from the land she knew as a child. African Americans who left en masse for much of the twentieth century are returning in huge numbers, drawn back by a mix of ambition, family ties, and cultural memory. Though Southerners remain more churchgoing than other Americans, the evangelical Protestantism that defined Southern culture up through the 1960s has been torn by bitter ideological schisms. The new South is ahead of others in absorbing waves of Latino immigrants, in rediscovering its agrarian traditions, in seeking racial reconciliation, and in reinventing what it means to have roots in an increasingly rootless global culture.

Drawing on mountains of data, interviews, and a whole new set of historic archives, Thompson upends stereotypes and fallacies to reveal the true heart of the South today—a region still misunderstood by outsiders and even by its own people. In that sense, she is honoring the tradition inaugurated by Wilbur Joseph Cash in 1941 in his classic, The Mind of the South. Cash’s book was considered the virtual bible on the origins of Southern identity and its transformation through time. Thompson has written its sequel for the twenty-first century.
 

About Tracy Thompson

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Tracy Thompson is a reporter and essayist who has written about subjects ranging from psychiatry to law to the Civil War. She is the author of The Beast: A Reckoning with Depression and The Ghost in the House. She lives just outside Washington, DC, with her husband, their two daughters, one tabby cat, and an enthusiastic beagle named Max.
 
Published March 5, 2013 by Simon & Schuster. 289 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The New Mind of the South
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Apr 23 2013

Best of all, this heartsick Southerner reminds us, “in New York you never get the fleeting sense that the polite stranger giving you directions might invite you home for dinner. In Atlanta, you do.”

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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Barton Swaim on Mar 15 2013

..."The New Mind of the South" is a likable book. It is plain that Ms. Thompson has read and traveled a great deal in writing it.

Read Full Review of The New Mind of the South | See more reviews from WSJ online

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