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By Richard H. King

A research of a big cultural stream, this article exhibits how Southern writers of 1930 to 1955 attempted to return to phrases with Southern culture. It discusses the ensuing physique of important literature - fiction, poetry, memoirs and old writing.

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Extra resources for A Southern Renaissance: The Cultural Awakening of the American South, 1930-1955

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11 The third force in Southern politics drew on the rhetoric and some of the substance of the agrarian insurgency surviving the demise of Populism. The period from 1900 to World War II was the heyday of the Southern demagogue, who gathered "redneck" support by rhetorical attacks on the "big shots" and the blacks. Once in office these demagogues either sold out to the conservatives or pushed through mildly progressive reforms. Besides the demagogues there were authentic agrarian leaders such as Hugo Black in Alabama and especially Huey Long in Louisiana who kept the Populist spirit alive.

For Odum, the key to progress in race relations lay with the leadership of both races. Always a gradualist, he was instrumental in the founding of the Southern Regional Council. 0 At the University of Georgia, Odum took up what became the other focus of his scholarly writing—rural sociology. Odum's vision of regional reform and regeneration was informed by the New South spirit as well as the Progressive notion of social science in the service of the rationalization and organization of Southern rural life.

Many white Southerners professed relief that the "peculiar institution" of slavery was a thing of the past. 8 Its cotton was still in demand in the outside world. The plantation system, it turned out, could run quite well with "free" labor. In place of chattel slavery for blacks and freehold farming for middle-level and poorer whites came tenancy and sharecropping. If the small farmer did manage to hold onto his land in the grim years after 1865, he often was little better off than the sharecropper.

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