Where These Memories Grow

History, Memory, and Southern Identity

Edited by W. Fitzhugh Brundage

384 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 23 illus., 2 maps, notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4886-9
    Published: October 2000
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-2432-7
    Published: December 2015
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-7022-3
    Published: December 2015

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Southerners are known for their strong sense of history. But the kinds of memories southerners have valued--and the ways in which they have preserved, transmitted, and revitalized those memories--have been as varied as the region's inhabitants themselves.

This collection presents fresh and innovative perspectives on how southerners across two centuries and from Texas to North Carolina have interpreted their past. Thirteen contributors explore the workings of historical memory among groups as diverse as white artisans in early-nineteenth-century Georgia, African American authors in the late nineteenth century, and Louisiana Cajuns in the twentieth century. In the process, they offer critical insights for understanding the many communities that make up the American South.

As ongoing controversies over the Confederate flag, the Alamo, and depictions of slavery at historic sites demonstrate, southern history retains the power to stir debate. By placing these and other conflicts over the recalled past into historical context, this collection will deepen our understanding of the continuing significance of history and memory for southern regional identity.


Bruce E. Baker

Catherine W. Bishir

David W. Blight

Holly Beachley Brear

W. Fitzhugh Brundage

Kathleen Clark

Michele Gillespie

John Howard

Gregg D. Kimball

Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp

C. Brenden Martin

Anne Sarah Rubin

Stephanie E. Yuhl

About the Author

W. Fitzhugh Brundage is William B. Umstead Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is author of several other books, including Under Sentence of Death: Lynching in the South.
For more information about W. Fitzhugh Brundage, visit the Author Page.


"Everyone interested in historical memory or southern identity should read Where These Memories Grow."--Journal of Southern History

"This book will intrigue anyone interested in the ways interpretations of southern history have affected individuals' identities and actions and will stimulate all historians to consider the hidden curricula in their books, exhibits, and monuments."--Georgia Historical Quarterly

"Where These Memories Grow reinforces the growing realization that the past is not dead and describes in graphic detail how southern society--and by implication all human societies--struggle with their collective memories. It is impressive in the way it reveals the contest over what gets put in and what gets left out of the collective memory of the South. This collection also helps to cast landmarks, museums, parades and all sorts of commemorations into a new and fresh light."--John Bodnar, Indiana University

"This collection takes the study of American memory to a new level of sophistication, breadth, and engagement. Anyone who reads this exciting book will never see the American South in the same way."--Edward L. Ayers, University of Virginia

"Strong new voices are heard in this collection of essays that opens with the reflections on memory of Fitzhugh Brundage, who is taking the podium as one of the most articulate spokespersons for what might be termed the new southern history."--William S. McFeely, author of Sapelo's People: A Long Walk into Freedom

"The essays in this book demonstrate that a great deal can be at stake in conflicts over memory. Every group of southerners we encounter seeks some form of a usable past, some degree of control over the social memory of their town, state, or region. A lesson of virtually every piece is that those who can create the dominant historical narrative, those who can own the public memory, will achieve political and cultural power."--David W. Blight, from the Epilogue