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Southern Histories: Public, Personal, and Sacred (Georgia Southern University Jack N. and Addie D. Averitt Lecture Series) Hardcover – November 24, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


"In accessible and sparkling prose, David Goldfield investigates the real-life consequences of being a southern historian. Can delving into the past change the course of the South's future? Goldfield, who was called as an expert witness in cases ranging from the death penalty to congressional redistricting and challenged to an intellectual duel by neo-Confederates over his interpretation of the Civil War, uses his experiences in and with the South to meditate on public history and the politics of memory; his reflections should be required reading for anyone interested in the future of the South and the nation."--Jane Dailey, Johns Hopkins University

"With passion and courage, David Goldfield takes on in these essays what it means to write history in and about the South. In tackling religion, race, the relationship of academic to public history, and the historian's own personal relationship to the subjects of place and past, Goldfield brilliantly updates the 'burden' of southern history."--David W. Blight, author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory

“Goldfield builds on his traditional academic strengths while taking full advantage of the more liberal form of commissioned lectures to offer insights that would perhaps seem out of place in journal articles. . . . Goldfield's contribution is both to lament the gulf between professional historians and average southerners and to urge his historian-readers to make their work known and relevant to the modern South."--North Carolina Historical Review

"A vigorous and eloquent defense of the historian's craft at a time when, and in a region where, ambiguity and nuance are seemingly anathema . . .Without resorting to any deep theory about historical method or elusive truth, Goldfield offers a compelling defense of engaged scholarship that informs public policy on behalf of social justice."--Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Goldfield combines the field of cultural studies with traditional studies of Southern society and history following the Civil War. . . . The three sections page-for-page offer sharper insights and a quicker and clearer grasp of [the] contemporary South than any other book on this topic."--University Press Book Review

"Few students of the American South are better read in its history and literature than David Goldfield. . . . I admire Goldfield's candor and passion, and the elegance of his prose."--Charlotte Observer

"This is a thoughtful little volume, densely packed with insights and observations. . . . Historians should read this, to remind themselves of their importance to contemporary public policy. All historians are in some part ‘public historians.’ Goldfield urges us to act the part."--Journal of Southern Religion

"[A]n interesting collection of essays."--Gulf South Historical Review

From the Publisher

A premier historian of the South looks at the region's complicated ties to its pasts.

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More About the Author

David Goldfield was born in Memphis and grew up in Brooklyn, a combination that has left him with a cracker edginess that an education at the University of Maryland did not soften. He did learn how to write, though -- sixteen books on Southern and American (they're different) history. He is the Robert Lee Bailey Professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Goldfield also consults for museums and historic sites, gives programs on American culture for the U.S. State Department in various countries, and serves as an expert witness in voting rights and death penalty cases. He likes to talk. His most recent book is America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation, published in 2011, and he is currently working on a book, "The Gifted Generation," about life in post-World War II America. In the interstices of teaching, talking, writing, and researching, he enjoys the music of Buddy Holly and Gustav Mahler (though not at the same time), reading Southern novels, jogging (though he still calls it running), and baseball.

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Southern Histories: Public, Personal, and Sacred (Georgia Southern University Jack N. and Addie D. Averitt Lecture Series)
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