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Redneck Nation: How the South Really Won the War Hardcover – October 30, 2002

24 customer reviews

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Despite having lost the Civil War, the South has somehow managed to win the "battle of ideas" across our nation, contends radio talk-show host Graham in this hilarious collection of essays covering such topics as Enron, the public school system, free speech, multiculturalism, racism and the "supreme triumph of the Redneck nation." Using quotes from H.L. Mencken, Gallup poll statistics and plenty of firsthand experience, the author examines this peculiar phenomenon with a cynical wit that spares no one, including himself. He begins by explaining the difference between the North and South, specifically between South Carolina, where he grew up, and New York, where he often traveled ("New Yorkers pretend they've read books they haven't. Southerners deny reading the ones they have"). Drawing from his own childhood in Dixie ("a land of few ideas, nearly all of them bad"), his college years at Oral Roberts University (which combined "the intellectual rigor of a Sunday school picnic with the sound theological theories of a slumber party s‚ance") and the 27 years he's spent running away from the South, Graham wittily illustrates "Redneck" infiltration into mainstream politics through conspiracy theories, victim mentality (as witnessed by the popularity of such national programs as the Jerry Springer show) and segregation, in a book readers won't be able to put down.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.


""I can't remember the last time I read a political book as witty and incisive..." -- Tucker Carlson

"...An adroit and devastating cultural analysis with at least one laugh on every page..." -- Florence King

"...dispels the Southern stereotype. Perfect for reading in bed with your sister." -- Bill Maher

"Graham is the funniest political observer in the country..." -- Chris Matthews

"Michael Graham's REDNECK NATION is funny and insightful. You'll really enjoy it." -- G. Gordon Liddy

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; First Edition edition (October 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446528846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446528849
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,459,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sylvia R on November 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! Michael Graham skewers everyone from radical feminists to radical Christians to radical NASCAR fans (and lots of folks in between) with his razor sharp wit.
I don't know if the South can really be held responsible for all the wacky things going on in this country today. Maybe we can just chalk some of it up to basic human stupidty. But if you've ever felt a little queasy while listening to someone talk about last night's "Survivor" episode...if you've ever wondered how educated adults can gaze upon an art masterpiece and be offended...or if you've ever despaired over the darker side of human nature that gives us racism and all other manners of intolerance, you'll enjoy this read.
In spite of the comic presentation, a book like this should make us take a hard look at ourselves and say "I'm going to stop this idiotic behavior." We all know that's not going to happen, but if Mr. Graham's points are completely lost on you, then in the immortal words of Jeff Foxworthy, you might be a redneck!
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52 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Michael Graham - a radio talk-show host and former PR guy for the Republican Party - obviously wants to follow in the footsteps of HL Mencken, Dennis Miller, and Michael Moore as an acid-penned critic of "redneck" Southern culture. Like these gentlemen, Graham seems to believe that if you can't say something nasty about other people, then you shouldn't say anything at all. Graham grew up in a tiny rural village in South Carolina and, to put it politely, he hated it. This book is filled with every imaginable put-down of white, native-born Southerners. If you read this book you'll get the impression that Southern culture is responsible for everything from the Bubonic Plague to crabgrass in your lawn. And, most of Graham's comments contain nothing that most Southerners (and non-Southerners) haven't heard before - Southerners are still refighting the Civil War, they're racist and inbred, they don't like "book learnin" and despise intellectuals, etc. Graham's one unique twist on this tiresome refrain is that the South's backward, ignorant "redneck" ideas have swept the nation - he's as contemptuous of Northern yuppies and California academics as he is of his native region. According to Graham, the South has "won" the Civil War and Civil Rights battles by successfully exporting its racism, segregation, anti-intellectual beliefs, and "irrational" religious beliefs to the rest of the nation. For proof, he offers examples such as NASCAR (which, Graham announces with horror, is now the top spectator sport in the country), the "politically-correct", anti-free speech mindset at universities such as Cal-Berkeley and "Hahvud", and the growing "I am a victim" mentality among minorities nationwide, which he claims started with white Southerners after their defeat in the Civil War.Read more ›
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mckenzie-delavan Music Studio Production on November 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Having come from the "south" I should be offended by his raucous humor about "us". Unfortunatly truth hearts.
Laughing, crying, holding my sides I read it non-stop.
His humor is reminiscent of Chris Rock, who manages to "get" everyone.
In these times, it really is important to laugh at ourselves and our strangenesses. This book pretty much covers them all.
Have plenty of pork-rinds available.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Erik Anschicks on January 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
It has been some time since I first read this book (about three years), and after re-reading it, I found it just as well-written and entertaining, but was even more baffled about the right-wing tendencies of its author.

Essentially, the thesis of the book is as follows: Michael Graham, a southerner, always thought that the North was a place where good ole boy politickin' was abhorred, intellectualism is celebrated, and idiocy was absent. But after living there and observing Northerners like me (although I live in Tennessee as the profile says, I was born and raised in Chicago), he has concluded that the general lunacy that is commonplace in the South is actually commonplace everywhere, Northerners just don't realize it or admit it if they do.

Good premise because I agree wholeheartedly, though I do have to believe that this is more prevalent down south, having lived here for six years and counting and finding stereotypes reinforced everywhere. But anyway, the book itself goes beyond the premise to a much deeper and effective arguement, and that is the demise of intellectualism in the country as a whole is not something to be celebrated or treated lightly. He consistently, and hilariously, points out example after example of things that are thought of as trivial, or not representative of the status quo, being just the opposite. People like to think that diminishing social standards and scary addictions to pop culture trash are not really that bad, that they are just little guilty pleasures. Like Graham, I am very troubled by that notion, and have never understood why the intellectual in this country is mocked and admonished, rather than thought highly of.
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29 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Lani Schwalbe on October 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Let's suppose, for a minute, that your impression of America is of a place where the best rises to the top, where the backwards days of racism and good ol' boy networks are long gone, where stupidity is challenged and intelligence is rewarded.
If that's how you feel, I'm not saying you shouldn't read Graham's book... I'm just saying you should sit down with a nice, stiff drink before you do.
Graham's book is a rapid-fire presentation of tell-me-it's-not-true facts and rapier wise-guy commentary, asserting that while it's commonly accepted that the northern ideals of meritocracy, anti-racism and accountability won over the backwards southern society of the 1960's, in fact it was the south that won. According to Graham, today we live in a culture of whining, victimized, racist idiots - and he piles up the proof so high that by the end I predict you'll be crying either from laughter or depression, or perhaps a combination of both.
Graham has presented a tight, witty volume full of stuff you'll wish he was making up - but he's not. Oh, man. I need a drink.
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