top of page


    North Ameria

Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia



Away down South : a history of Southern identity / James C. Cobb

975 COBB 2007

"From the seventeenth-century Cavaliers and Uncle Tom's Cabin to Civil Rights museums and today's conflicts over the Confederate flag, here is a portrait of southern identity, served in an engaging blend of history, literature, and popular culture. In this insightful book, written with dry wit and sharp insight, James C. Cobb explains how the South first came to be seen - and then came to see itself - as a region apart from the rest of America"

Unruly women : the politics of social and sexual control in the old South / Victoria E. Bynum.

975.03 BYNUM 1992

Analyzing the complex and interrelated impact of gender, race, class, and region on the lives of black and white women, she shows how their diverse experiences and behavior reflected and influenced the changing social order and political economy of the state and region. Her work expands our knowledge of black and white women by studying them outside the plantation setting. Bynum searched local and state court records, public documents, and manuscript collections to locate and document the lives of these otherwise ordinary, obscure women. Some appeared in court as abused, sometimes abusive, wives, as victims and sometimes perpetrators of violent assaults, or as participants in illicit, interracial relationships. During the Civil War, women frequently were cited for theft, trespassing, or rioting, usually in an effort to gain goods made scarce by war. Some women were charged with harboring evaders or deserters of the Confederacy, an act that reflected their conviction that the Confederacy was destroying them. 


Been in the storm so long : the aftermath of slavery / Leon F. Litwack

973.891 LITWACK 1979

Based on hitherto unexamined sources: interviews with ex-slaves, diaries and accounts by former slaveholders, this "rich and admirably written book" (Eugene Genovese, The New York Times Book Review) aims to show how, during the Civil War and after Emancipation, blacks and whites interacted in ways that dramatized not only their mutual dependency, but the ambiguities and tensions that had always been latent in "the peculiar institution." 

Lay my burden down : a folk history of slavery / Benjamin Albert Botkin.

973.71129 FEDERAL

In the 1930's, the last decade when many men and women who were born under slavery and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation.still lived, the New Deal's Federal Writing Project made an extraordinary and important decision. It sent interviewers to ask these African-American survivors : What does it mean to be free? Even more, how does it feel?

Slaves in the Family / Edward Ball.

973.71129 BALL 1998

Journalist Ball confronts the legacy of his family's slave-owning past, uncovering the story of the people, both black and white, who lived and worked on the Balls' South Carolina plantations. It is an unprecedented family record that reveals how the painful legacy of slavery continues to endure in America's collective memory and experience. Ball, a descendant of one of the largest slave-owning families in the South, discovered that his ancestors owned 25 plantations, worked by nearly 4,000 slaves. Through meticulous research and by interviewing scattered relatives, Ball contacted some 100,000 African-Americans who are all descendants of Ball slaves. In intimate conversations with them, he garnered information, hard words, and devastating family stories of precisely what it means to be enslaved. He found that the family plantation owners were far from benevolent patriarchs; instead there is a dark history of exploitation, interbreeding, and extreme violence.

Within the plantation household : Black and White women of the Old South / Elizabeth Fox-Genovese.

975 FOX-GEN 1988

In her rich and rewarding book, Fox-Genovese challenges many of the conventions about women's history, which has been largely extrapolated from the experiences of northeastern women. Southern womenblack and whitewere southerners, bound by a rural world built on human bondage and race and dominated by men. These women were not passive or victims, but resourceful and resistant. Still, Fox-Genovese rejects the now fashionable view that planters' wives harbored antislavery or feminist sentiments. She places slave women at the center of opposition to slavery. Fox-Genovese has given black and white Southern women voices. Eloquent and powerful.


Confederates in the attic : dispatches from the unfinished Civil War / Tony Horwitz.

973.7 HOROWITZ 1999

Propelled by his boyhood passion for the Civil War, Horwitz embarks on a search for places and people still held in thrall by America's greatest conflict. The result is an adventure into the soul of the unvanquished South, where the ghosts of the Lost Cause are resurrected through ritual and remembrance. Confederates in the Attic brings alive old battlefields and new ones 'classrooms, courts, country bars' where the past and the present collide, often in explosive ways. Poignant and picaresque, haunting and hilarious, it speaks to anyone who has ever felt drawn to the mythic South and to the dark romance of the Civil War.

Mothers of invention : women of the slaveholding South in the American Civil War / Drew Gilpin Faust

973.7082 FAUST 1997

When Confederate men marched off to battle, southern women struggled with the new responsibilities of directing farms and plantations, providing for families, and supervising increasingly restive slaves. Drew Faust offers a compelling picture of the more than half-million women who belonged to the slaveholding families of the Confederacy during this period of acute crisis, when every part of these women's lives became vexed and uncertain. Faust chronicles the clash of the old and the new within a group that was at once the beneficiary and the victim of the social order of the Old South.

Topsy-turvy : how the Civil War turned the world upside down for southern children / Anya Jabour.

973.7083 JABOUR 2010

This book presents the Civil War as a major turning point in Southern children's lives, and also illuminates the interplay between continuity and change in the history of the American South. Because the war was fought largely on Southern soil, parts of the region became a permanent landscape of war, and children in the Confederacy thus experienced the struggle in an especially profound way. 



You have seen their faces / Ersking Caldwell

975.042 CALDWEL 1937

In the middle years of the Great Depression, Erskine Caldwell and photographer Margaret Bourke-White spent eighteen months traveling across the back roads of the Deep South―from South Carolina to Arkansas―to document the living conditions of the sharecropper. Their collaboration resulted in You Have Seen Their Faces, a graphic portrayal of America's desperately poor rural underclass. First published in 1937, it is a classic comparable to Jacob Riis's How the Other Half Lives, and James Agee and Walker Evans's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, which it preceded by more than three years.Caldwell lets the poor speak for themselves. Supported by his commentary, they tell how the tenant system exploited whites and blacks alike and fostered animosity between them. Bourke-White, who sometimes waited hours for the right moment, captures her subjects in the shacks where they lived, the depleted fields where they plowed, and the churches where they worshipped.


Appalachian Valley / George L. Hicks

975.0043 HICKS 1992

"In this pithy ethnography detailing the people of the Little Laurel Valley of western North Carolina, Hicks has accomplished an anthropological ideal--he takes us beyond the caricatured features of the hillbilly image and into the Appalachian folk culture, examining the surroundings with a compassionate and observant objectivity. While no longer completely isolated from the mainstream of American culture, the Little Laurel Valley preserves its cultural uniqueness in its local attitudes, speech, kinship relationships, and a strongly felt, cohesive identity based upon a knowledge of positive distinction. Characterized by an emphasis on egalitarianism, the strong belief in personal independence and individualism, clearly defined sex roles, a great regard for the rural life and the household within it, and a pervasive suspicion of urban things and people, the culture of the Little Laurel is reminiscent of earlier colonial American culture, and the small communities of rural Great Britain. Through Hicks' keen eyes we can overlook the stereotypical images of L'il Abner and Snuffy Smith, and see in a better light this local culture of distinction that is representative of much that is old-line American. Americans of Anglo-American extraction may find the essence of their identity here, overshadowed and corroded by the material affluence, crassness, and immorality endemic in the mainstream of modern America." 

Hillbilly elegy : a memoir of a family and culture in crisis / J. D. Vance

975.0043 VANCE 2016

Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America's white working class. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck. The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.'s grandparents were "dirt poor and in love," and moved north from Kentucky's Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance's grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. 

Mountain spirits : a chronicle of corn whiskey from King James' Ulster plantation to America's Appalachians and the moonshine life / Joseph Earl. Dabney.

970.04941 DABNEY 1984

Mountain Spirits is a scholarly yet entertaining look into this staple of Southern Appalachian history. The folklore of moonshine whiskey is full of fact and fiction, but the real characters tell stories even more humorous and exciting. Dabney's interviews with actual moonshiners and his documented history allow one to take a trip through the mountains - and through history - to discover both the origins and development of the art of making whiskey. With a complete glossary, photographs, illustrations, and interviews, Mountain Spirits offers a most complete exploration of this craft, from distilling for personal use to the moonshining gangs that emerged during Prohibition.

Two continents, one culture : the Scotch-Irish in Southern Appalachia / Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman

973.04941 HIRSCHM 2006

This in-depth analysis examines how and why Southern culture was forever changed when Scotch-Irish immigrants flooded the Appalachian Mountains in the 1700s. Geographical similarities between Southern Appalachia and the Highlands of Scotland and Ireland are discussed, as well as the parallels and differences of the two cultures in four basic areas - music and dance, agricultural practices, fighting and hunting techniques, and technological innovativeness. More than 300 years of the communities' ideology is explored based on data culled from ethnographic observation, interviews at various heritage sites, historic accounts, archived letters, and other textual documentation. 



Us poor folks and the things of Dog Flat Hollow / Donald L. McCourry

975.6873 M131u

Ethnography of boys life growing up in Yancey County North the 1950s.

Scotch-Irish life in the South Carolina Piedmont : why they wore five petticoats on Sunday / Caroline S. Coleman

975.703 COLEMAN 2014

"Five Petticoats on Sunday was originally published in 1962. The book was a collection of columns written by Caroline S. Coleman containing stories her grandmother told about the Fairview community and the South Carolina Piedmont. Coleman's granddaughters, Millie Coleman and Caroline Sherman, have expanded the book with recipes, history and genealogical resources for an enthralling look at the lives of Scotch-Irish residents in the area from Reconstruction until the 1900s. Find out why most homes in the area had a Prophet's Room. Sit with the children as they wait for the; second table; during visiting season and learn exactly why they wore five petticoats on Sunday. Sherman and Coleman examine a time and lifestyle far away from today's modern conveniences but complete with warmth of family"



Please reload

bottom of page