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Sustaining Southern Identity

Douglas Southall Freeman and Memory in the Modern South

Making the Modern South

336 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / 2 halftones, 1 graph

ebook available

Southern History

  Hardcover / 9780807140048 / November 2011

Winner of the Richard Slatten Award

Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Douglas Southall Freeman, perhaps more than any other writer in the first half of the twentieth century, helped shape and sustain a collective identity for white southerners. A journalist, lecturer, radio broadcaster, and teacher of renown, Freeman wrote and spoke on themes related to southern memory throughout his life. 

Keith D. Dickson’s Sustaining Southern Identity offers a masterful intellectual biography of Freeman as well as a comprehensive analysis of how twentieth-century southerners came to remember the Civil War, fashion their values and ideals, and identify themselves as citizens of the South. 
Dickson’s work underscores Freeman’s contributions to the enduring memory of Confederate courage and sacrifice in southern culture. The longtime editor of the Richmond News Leader, Freeman wrote several authoritative and extraordinarily influential multivolume historical narratives about both Confederate general Robert E. Lee and the high command of the Army of Northern Virginia. His contributions to the enduring southern memory framework—with its grand narrative of Confederate courage and sacrifice, and its attachment to symbols and rituals—still serve as a touchstone for the memory-truths that define a distinct identity in the South.
Keith D. Dickson is professor of military studies at the Joint Forces Staff College, at National Defense University.

Praise for Sustaining Southern Identity

"Scholars of southern intellectual history will find Dickson's study an insightful probe into the mind of one of the Confederacy's most intelligent and eloquent defenders."—Journal of American History


“I cannot think of a better subject for the study of southern identity and memory than Douglas Southall Freeman. In sum, this is an excellent addition to the Making the Modern South series that successfully examines the search for southern identity through the lens of biography.”—Civil War History

“The reader is treated to Freeman's contemporary comments and Dickson's discerning interpretation. The result is a captivating lens through which to consider both Freeman's words and the sentiments that prompted them.”—Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

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