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The U.S. South

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33 Segments




Want to understand the U.S.? This historian says the South holds the key

Imani Perry, a professor of African American studies at Princeton University, was born in Birmingham, Ala., and has always considered it home, even though she moved north as a child. In her new book, South to America, she recounts her travels to the South — its cities, rural areas and historic sites — and reflects on the region's history of slavery and racism.


Looking At The Civil War 150 Years Later.

Tuesday marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the U.S. Civil War. Historian Adam Goodheart explains how national leaders and ordinary citizens across the country responded to the chaos and uncertainty in 1861: The Civil War Awakening.


Giants of Soul: A New Approach

For his latest release, producer and troubadour Joe Henry worked with giants in soul music, from Allen Toussaint to Mavis Staples. It was quite a departure for Henry, whose songs include "Richard Pryor Addresses a Tearful Nation."


John M. Coski and the Confederate Flag

John M. Coski is author of The Confederate Battle Flag: America's Most Embattled Emblem. The book looks at the flag's history and the various meanings attached to it. Some people view it as a symbol of white supremacy and racial injustice; others think it represents a rich Southern heritage. Coski is historian and library director at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va.


In the Mind of a Roving Football Fan

Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Rammer Jammer Yellowhammer: A Journey into the Heart of Fan Mania, by Warren St. John, a reporter for The New York Times. The book is about sports mania and the fan mania surrounding the University of Alabama's football team, The Crimson Tide.


Writer Barry Hannah

A native of Mississippi, Barry Hannah has been writing for over thirty years - short stories, and novels set in the South. His writing is described as intensely personal, frenetic and comic. Truman Capote once called him the maddest writer in the USA His first book, the autobiographical novel Geronimo Rex (published in 1972) won the William Faulkner Prize for writing. He followed that with Airships, a collection of short stories now considered a classic.


Writer Dorothy Allison.

Writer Dorothy Allison. Her bestselling novel "Bastard Out of Carolina," was about a poor South Carolina family's violence and incest, and was largely autobiographical. She says that she doesn't like most abuse literature because it tends to eroticize abuse. Allison has also written a book of short stories called "Trash" and a book of poems called "The Women Who Hate Me." Allison's new novel is "Cavedweller" (A Dutton Book) (Interview by Barbara Bogaev)


The Obsession with the Civil War.

Wall Street Journal reporter Tony Horwitz has written "Confederates In The Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War". It is published by Pantheon. Horwitz explores the subculture of Civil War re-enactment fanatics. Many of these wannabe rebels will run barefoot, sleep in the rain, and starve themselves to recreate the conditions of battle to get a "period rush". Horwitz won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting at the Wall Street Journal and is the author of "Baghdad Without a Map" and "One for the Road".


Representing Racism in Art.

Artist William Christenberry is known for his portrayal of the American South in his work. He has spent 35 years rendering images of the architecture and the landscape of his birthplace, rural Alabama, in drawings, sculptures, and photographs. His art deals with Southern heritage with both affection and aversion.


An Elegy for a One Hour Drama

TV critic David Bianculli previews the season finale of "I'll Fly Away," on NBC. It deals with civil rights in the 1950s American South and, because of low ratings, will likely face a premature death.


Former President Jimmy Carter

President Carter has written a new book about his early days in politics, "Turning Point: A Candidate, A State, and a Nation Come of Age," Terry will talk with him about his presidency, the work he's done since he's left the office, and what he thinks about a Clinton presidency.


The Heroic Self Explored in New Novel.

Book critic John Leonard reviews "The Spyglass Tree" (published by Pantheon) the new novel by Albert Murray. It's the sequel to his critically acclaimed book, "Train Whistle Guitar."


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