The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

Volume 16: Sports and Recreation

Edited by Harvey H. Jackson III

Charles Reagan Wilson, general editor

408 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 31 illus., bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-7173-7
    Published: January 2011
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-1676-6
    Published: February 2014
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8489-3
    Published: February 2014

New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

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What southerners do, where they go, and what they expect to accomplish in their spare time, their "leisure," reveals much about their cultural values, class and racial similarities and differences, and historical perspectives. This volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture offers an authoritative and readable reference to the culture of sports and recreation in the American South, surveying the various activities in which southerners engage in their nonwork hours, as well as attitudes surrounding those activities.

Seventy-four thematic essays explore activities from the familiar (porch sitting and fairs) to the essential (football and stock car racing) to the unusual (pool checkers and a sport called "fireballing"). In seventy-seven topical entries, contributors profile major sites associated with recreational activities (such as Dollywood, drive-ins, and the Appalachian Trail) and prominent sports figures (including Althea Gibson, Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, and Hank Aaron). Taken together, the entries provide an engaging look at the ways southerners relax, pass time, celebrate, let loose, and have fun.

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

About the Author

Harvey H. Jackson III is Professor and Eminent Scholar in History at Jacksonville State University and is author, coauthor, or coeditor of nine books on various topics in southern history.
For more information about Harvey H. Jackson III, visit the Author Page.


"Recommended for all reference collections in the Southern region and for colleges with strong sports communication programs."--Library Journal

"Very readable and entertaining. . . . Library collections will want to add this volume for its insights into what southerners enjoy in their nonworking hours. Recommended."--Choice

“This volume would be a worthy addition both to academic and public libraries….One comes away from reading this volume with a more complete understanding of Southern culture.”--Tennessee Libraries

“An informative, awareness-raising volume that can be valuable as a textbook or as a personal resource.”--Alabama Review

"Like its companions, this volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture is a pure delight, with exhaustive coverage, a sense of humor, and a sharp eye for detail. From gardening to NASCAR, the South’s favorite pastimes are all here, and as entertaining in print as they are in practice."--Harry Watson, director of the Center for the Study of the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"A dizzying testament to the vagaries and varieties of southern life, with a place for subjects as diverse as the passions of high school football, the ever-changing pageant of Latina quinceañeras, and the enduring ritual of 'passing the time' by talking about nothing and everything all at once. As with the other volumes, there is no way to summarize. You need to read it for yourself."--Pamela Grundy, author of Learning to Win: Sports, Education, and Social Change in Twentieth-Century North Carolina