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02.10.06 Woodward, C. Vann, The Burden of Southern History, 1960.

Notes Concerning the Author

We suggest you go to 02.09.01 for more extensive notes concern the author.

Our Review

In this oft-cited work, Woodward, considered by many the premier Southern historian of the 20th century,  considers why the South has differed from “mainstream” America.   He argues that while America has generally been optimistic, prosperous, and victorious (at least at the time he wrote), the South has experienced a distinctive history of guilt (over  race relations), poverty, and defeat in war.  Woodward’s thesis has been widely accepted by historians, although some have questioned it, especially in regard to guilt as a Southern hallmark.  Other historians have pointed to differing ethnic origins,  frontier conditions, folkways, political ideology, and economics as explanations for Southern distinctiveness.