A New History of the American South

Edited by W. Fitzhugh Brundage

Laura F. Edwards and Jon Sensbach, associate editors

616 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 70 halftones, 7 maps, notes, index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-2665-9
    Published: May 2023
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7019-5
    Published: March 2023
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-4433-0
    Published: March 2023

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For at least two centuries, the South's economy, politics, religion, race relations, fiction, music, foodways and more have figured prominently in nearly all facets of American life. In A New History of the American South, W. Fitzhugh Brundage joins a stellar group of accomplished historians in gracefully weaving a new narrative of southern history from its ancient past to the present. This groundbreaking work draws on both well-established and new currents in scholarship, among them global and Atlantic world history, histories of African diaspora, and environmental history. The volume also considers the experiences of all people of the South: Black, white, Indigenous, female, male, poor, and elite. Together, the essays compose a seamless, cogent, and engaging work that can be read cover to cover or sampled at leisure.

Contributors are Peter A. Coclanis, Gregory P. Downs, Laura F. Edwards, Robbie Ethridge, Kari Frederickson, Paul Harvey, Kenneth R. Janken, Martha S. Jones, Blair L. M. Kelley, Kate Masur, Michael A. McDonnell, Scott Reynolds Nelson, James D. Rice, Natalie J. Ring, and Jon F. Sensbach.

About the Authors

W. Fitzhugh Brundage is the William Umstead Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For more information about W. Fitzhugh Brundage, visit the Author Page.

Laura F. Edwards is the Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of American Law and Liberty at Princeton University.
For more information about Laura F. Edwards, visit the Author Page.

Jon F. Sensbach is professor of history at the University of Florida.
For more information about Jon F. Sensbach, visit the Author Page.


"An important book for anyone interested in Southern history. . . . The book's contributors brilliantly integrate the contents of their separate chapters, each on a distinct era, into a taut, analytical narrative. Throughout, their voices and styles cohere in striking fashion. . . . To learn of the South's past as it is viewed today by leading historians, this is the book to read."—Kirkus Reviews (STARRED review)

"A multifaceted narrative of the Southern United States, from histories of the African diaspora and Indigenous Americans to cultural, economic and environmental trends."—New York Times Book Review

"A blockbuster collection [that] excels at puncturing [the many caricatures of the South] . . . . the South that emerges from A New History of the American South is fresh and exciting in its unfamiliarity."—Scott W. Stern, The New Republic

"The thought-provoking and expert essays of represent expansive views of Southern history—beyond the period-focused notions of the region that often appear in history and literature. . . . Drawing parallels between the past and present, [these essays] eschew easy narratives to capture the contradictions of Southern life."—Foreword Reviews

"This is an essential collection of writings from leading historians of the American South. Their attentiveness to historic period, local and national politics, the politics of race, and the political economy are exceptional and make for an extremely compelling portrait of the region. Brimming with brilliant insight and composed with abundant care, A New History of the American South is poised to be a classic text."—Imani Perry, New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award winner of South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation

"Here is a book that lives up to its title, for this history is indeed new in many dimensions: its impressive cast of scholars, its attention to the latest discoveries, and its openness to surprising perspectives."—Edward L. Ayers, author of Southern Journey: The Migrations of the American South, 1790-2020