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The Countercultural South (Mercer University Lamar Memorial Lectures Ser.) Hardcover – October 1, 1995


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Kirby's love of southern soil and forest and their inhabitants makes The Countercultural South a remarkable, lyrical document.

(Bertram Wyatt-Brown Journal of American History)

From the Back Cover

At once upholding and refuting the South's conservative image, The Countercultural South explores the politically divergent cultures of resistance created by poor white and working-class black southern men. With humor and insight, Jack Temple Kirby traces these racially and politically opposed cultures back to the antebellum encounter between the anticapitalistic South and the capitalist individualism identified with the North. In a wide-ranging discussion encompassing the blues, sharecropping, and contemporary black intellectuals, Kirby shows how the needful practice of black labor bargaining in the South resulted in a progressive black tradition of verbal negotiation. The conservative separatism and retro-resistance of rural whites, Kirby argues, is embedded in an inherited and adversarial frontier ethos valuing self-sufficiency and access to wilderness. Kirby continues his look at white resistance in a review of "redneck" discourse, examining the public reputation of southern whites through a range of cultural phenomena, from literature to country music to the computer network known as BUBBA-L.
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