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01.08.01 Southern Reader’s Guide to the Old South, by Clyde N. Wilson, published in 2018

About the Author

Dr. Clyde N. Wilson is a co-founder of our Society of Independent Southern Historians and is considered by many to  be the greatest living historian of the South.  Now retired and active with his publishing company, Shotwell Press, he is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History of the University of South Carolina.

Our Review

No Southern American is more qualified than Dr. Wilson to judge truthful history of the South.  In this new book, he has selected a mix of the best books available for helping an interested person in understanding the South.  This is the first of four planned books.   The second will cover books about the South in War.  The third will cover books about the South during Reconstruction.  The fourth will cover books about the New South.

This book is exceptionally easy to read.  He only uses 50 pages to present brief reviews of the 50 Essential Books — just enough review to orient the reader.  No fancy details about publisher, ISBN number, edition number, etc., because that is not necessary.  Almost all of the recommended books on his list can be readily found as new or used books on Amazon.

Several authors who are also members of our Society are among the “50 Essentials,” including yours truly.  I feel honored that the second volume of my book, Bloodstains, made Dr. Wilson’s list.  This volume, The Demagogues, covers American history after the War Against Mexico and up to Lincoln’s request for Northern-states militia to conquer the seven in the South that had seceded.

Our website here also recommends most, but not all of Dr. Wilson’s 50 Essential Books.  Plus our website recommends many more.  I recommend that you purchase Dr. Wilson’s book and also continue to rely on our website for guidance regarding the best reading.  Like our website, Dr. Wilson covers many types of books: histories, biographies, fictions of  various types, old books (William Gilmore Simms), essays (Vanderbilt’s Southern Agrarians) and more.  I must admit I differ with Dr. Wilson on one selection.  When reading a biography of Jefferson Davis, I recommend Hudson Strode’s three volumes to the one volume by Felicity Allen.

Suggest you get the Dr. Wilson’s book and compare your thoughts to his fine selections.  On balance, I feel sure you will agree with Dr. Wilson on almost every selection, if not all.  His is a great job.

Availability of this book

Go to Amazon.