Summary Of The Mind Of The South By Willard J. Cash

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It has been over seventy-two years since "The Mind of the South” was written by Willard J. Cash, more commonly known as W. J. Cash. Mr. Cash was born in South Carolina in 1900. As a Carolinas native, he was raised with detailed knowledge of the South 's culture, society and history. In 1936, W. J. Cash had written a series of articles for the nationally renowned magazine, American Mercury. The magazine’s publisher Alfred A. Knopf offered Cash the opportunity to write a single volume history of the South. My perception of W. J. Cash is one of a true southerner, making his way back home to his roots and providing the readers with his viewpoint of the southern culture. His viewpoints of the South can be the good, the bad and or the not so pretty. …show more content…
One of the most significant reasons why Cash thought that the South developed differently from the North is that he viewed the South in three specific frontier stages. They were the pre-Civil War stage, the Civil War and Reconstruction stage and finally the Industrialization stage. However, through each of these stages, the old Southern features continued to remain. During the pre-Civil War stage in the south, Cash does his best to expose the southern plantation owner’s myths that they were associated with English royalty. There may have been a few instances of plantations owners that had English royalty association, but the majority of the plantation owners were ordinary southerner’s. Life in the south during the pre-Civil War can be seen as good, but the reality is that the South was reluctant to give up slavery, which was not a formula for …show more content…
When this book was published, Cash exploited the myths of the cavalier South and the New South. Cash faced severe adversity by writing his book, he was bringing the Southern lifestyle to the front and center of the public eye. He was defining the way in which the South would be looked upon. The South would be viewed differently and with more scrutiny. I believe that future readers of the book will be able to gain a firm understanding of how the South was back then, through Cash’s words. They will be able to understand what was perceived as the southern identity. The Mind of the South, has been recognized as one of the best single-volume histories of the American South published. It can be said that W. J. Cash revolutionized the interpretation of southern identity. Unfortunately W.J Cash only published "The Mind of the South", he died the same year (1941) the book was

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