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Regionalism and Nationalism in the United States : The Attack on Leviathan (Library of Conservative Thought) Paperback – January 1, 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0887383724 ISBN-10: 0887383726

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Product Details

  • Series: Library of Conservative Thought
  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers (January 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887383726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887383724
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,375,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Rogers VINE VOICE on April 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
At the risk of terrible understatement, it's pretty clear that the Southern Agrarians did not have a huge impact on the political climate of their era (primarily the 1930s). However, while their political success was small, the ripples of their intellectual impact continue to be felt today. And so while parts of this book, one of the most articulate presentations of the agrarian position, are somewhat dated, there's still a lot of value for modern readers.
The book got off to a slow start for me. Davidson's presentation of the theory and history of American regionalism, in a section titled "The Nation We Are," is important, but much of it summarizes, or reacts to, the work of historians and sociologists now even more obscure than the Agrarians themselves (Frederick Jackson Turner being a notable exception). While Davidson makes important points about the endogenous or organic nature of regions, regional characteristics, and regional loyalties -- in distinction to the imposed, artificial, and largely arbitrary nature of political divisions like counties or states -- his focus on the social science of the 1930s is not a terrifically compelling read today.
Once we get past that first section, though, the reading is much, much more rewarding. This is particularly true of the second section, titled "Immovable Bodies and Irresistible Forces," which focuses on defining the characteristics of various American regions and the people who live there. I especially enjoyed "Still Rebels, Still Yankees," which contrasts Brother Jonathan of Yankeetown, Vermont, with Cousin Roderick of Rebelville, Georgia.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Reed on July 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book should be read by anyone interested American political thought, and particularly on the history of localism, state's rights, and American conservatism.
Davidson was one of the original 'Twelve Southerners' of I'll take My Stand fame, who was interested in defending the unique cultural, social, and political values of the American south. He takes a very combative view of regionalism, caught in a struggle with nationalism and national identity. Its really a struggle over flavors; a national culture and politics would wash out all of the unique and colorful elements of local societies, the customs and traditions that have been built up over years, that structure the lives of local citizens. National society would become increasingly homogenized, and democratized. Citizens would become identical, little automatons, and culture would eventually be controlled by the taste of the lowest common denominator. The precious differences between people, between regions, between New England, the West and the South, would no longer exist, and the ties to the past, that make the present tolerable, stable, and peaceful would be lost forever.
Davidson, like the other 'Southerners' was unwilling to confront the biggest problem in the south. Race was one of the inheritances of the past, and one that would not be fixed within the southern tradition, as it was understood in the 1940's and 1950's. Race relations demanded a 'modern' solution, based on the idea that all citizens were Americans and individuals, entitled to their rights and liberties, and that local customs and traditions could not stand in the way of ensuring every citizen civil rights.
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