The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

Volume 3: History

Edited by Charles Reagan Wilson

408 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 43 illus., 1 map, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5691-8
    Published: September 2006
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-7759-8
    Published: February 2014
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-1655-1
    Published: February 2014

New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

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Providing a chronological and interpretive spine to the twenty-four volumes of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, this volume broadly surveys history in the American South from the Paleoindian period (approximately 8000 B.C.E.) to the present. In 118 essays, contributors cover the turbulent past of the region that has witnessed frequent racial conflict, a bloody Civil War fought and lost on its soil, massive in- and out-migration, major economic transformations, and a civil rights movement that brought fundamental change to the social order.

Charles Reagan Wilson's overview essay examines the evolution of southern history and the way our understanding of southern culture has unfolded over time and in response to a variety of events and social forces--not just as the opposite of the North but also in the larger context of the Atlantic World. Longer thematic essays cover major eras and events, such as early settlement, slave culture, Reconstruction, the New Deal, and the rise of the New South. Brief topical entries cover individuals--including figures from the Civil War, the civil rights movement, and twentieth-century politics--and organizations such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Daughters of the Confederacy, and Citizens' Councils, among others. Together, these essays offer a sweeping reference to the rich history of the region.

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi

About the Author

Charles Reagan Wilson is director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi and coeditor, with William Ferris, of the original Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.

For more information about Charles Reagan Wilson, visit the Author Page.


"The collaborative effort of long-time super-star scholars…and a rainbow of rising new lights, The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. . . is living up to its promise of combining old verities with an array of recent scholarly perceptions that make covering everything in only 24 volumes seem to be a short-sighted goal. . . . Wresting a representative snapshot of southern history from the voluminous scrapbooks and long, long library shelves on that subject is a daunting assignment, and Wilson deserves praise for taking the risk of producing a good one."--Index-Journal (Greenwood, SC)

"The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture provide[s] wonderful insight into the history and culture of the American South. By publishing the encyclopedia in multiple volumes, the editors have helped make this rich resource more readily available to the reading public. Future volumes… will be highly anticipated."--North Carolina Historical Review

"All significant libraries, not only in the South, but throughout the nation should include the new individual volumes in their collections."--American Reference Books Annual

“This set represents a solid improvement on a celebrated work. The individual volumes will be essential for scholars of various Southern studies topics.”--Library Journal

"With entries on topics ranging from cemeteries to debutante balls to Victorianism, this updated volume offers a descriptive take on the Southern way of life and its stereotypes and traditions."--Our State

"Does a fine job of outlining the high points of the South's cultural history. . . . It remains the sort of encyclopedia that one can refer to for serious work or just thumb through for a lazy hour, discovering something new with a turn of the pages."--Western Folklore