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I'll Take My Stand: The South and the Agrarian Tradition (Library of Southern Civilization) 75 Anniversary Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0807132081
ISBN-10: 080713208X
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About the Author

Susan V. Donaldson is National Endowment for the Humanities Professor of English at the College of William and Mary. She is the author of Competing Voices: The American Novel, 1865--1914, selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Book, and coeditor of Haunted Bodies: Gender and Southern Texts.

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Product Details

  • Series: Library of Southern Civilization
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: LSU Press; 75 Anniversary edition (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080713208X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807132081
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I'd avoid this version of the book and instead seek out the older edition with the intro by Louis Rubin. He does a much better job of explaining the Agrarians' place and time (which is vital for understanding their 'project') and his grasp on the big picture of what they were trying to say is far more accurate than Ms. Donaldson's, whose feminist/multiculturalist approach is less than helpful, and rather silly in some places. Her point seems to be that while the Agrarians said they were alarmed at the commercialism and industrialism that were encroaching on the South, what they really were afraid of were upwardly-mobile blacks and 'modern' women. Uh...yeah, right.
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Format: Paperback
Written by the Twelve "Fugitives" from Vanderbilt, this books is a timeless look at the benefits of the Southern agrarian life over and against the crass industrialism of the North.

When it was written, it appeared inevitable to the authors that industrialization was coming to their beloved South; they wrote these essays to warn against uncritical acceptance of that fate. Now, some 3/4 of a century later, their prophecy has proven correct but their warnings went by and large unheeded. Except for a small remnant, even Southerners have been fooled by the siren call of "Progress".

This book should be read by all, Northerners and Southerners alike, to help us remember that there is a good life consisting in love of the land, leisure, and small town communities that is being destroyed by the suburbanization of nearly every formerly distinct town in America.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
American intellectual history is full of great movements and schools. There were the transcendentalists, the pragmaticists, and the post-moderns to name but a few. There's the Chicago school of economics. There were also the Nashville Agrarians, sometimes referred to as the Fugitives. This book is their message.

This group of twelve Southern writers (and their students) strove to preserve the central ideas of Jeffersonian republicanism in the 20th-century South. When this book, a collection of 12 essays, was first published in 1930, it was already considered reactionary. The authors desired to protect a Romantic image of the agricultural South against encroaching industrialism, mass consumerism, and the centralization of wealth. Really, it sounds like something right out of Philadelphia in 1787, between the Federalists and the Republicans and, in a way, it is.

Because the ideas proposed here are so rooted in a political dialog which is both fundamentally American and enduring, this book remains popular and important. Many people read and study the Agrarians today because Jeffersonian republicanism has a sympathetic ear. Its political arguments are particularly applicable as our society contemplates mass consumerism and the concept that economic expansion is always an ends in itself. There's also the simple fact that these intellectuals were great writers and profound thinkers. Many were distinguished men of letters independent of their association with the Agrarians. In many cases, their work is a pleasure to read for its rhetorical lyricism alone. Some of those big, round sentences from Donald Davidson and Robert Penn Warren are just amazing!
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A scholar's view, poetically given, of what "Subsidiarity" and G.K.Chesterton earlier called "Distributism." At the essence of it is the romantic idea of the Jeffersonian "yoeman farmer" and what it means to have citizens tied to the land - their land - and the social and political consequences of such things in America. Likely, this book will be studied over a hundred years from now. So will the sole companion book later published, Beyond Capitalism & Socialism: A New Statement of an Old Idealby Kirkpatrick Sale.
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I'll Take My Stand: The South and the Agrarian Tradition (Library of Southern Civilization)
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