Cultivating Success in the South: Farm Households in the Postbellum Era

Citation metadata

Author: Tore C. Olsson
Date: May 2018
From: Journal of Southern History(Vol. 84, Issue 2)
Publisher: Southern Historical Association
Document Type: Article
Length: 663 words
Lexile Measure: 1340L

Document controls

Main content

Article Preview :

Cultivating Success in the South: Farm Households in the Postbellum Era. By Louis A. Ferleger and John D. Metz. Cambridge Studies on the American South. (New York and other cities: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Pp. xiv, 206. $93.00, ISBN 978-1-107-05411-0.)

After a wide-eyed southern tour in 1924, New York journalist Frank Tannenbaum declared with horror that "[t]he beautiful, sunny South is afflicted with a plague, a white plague--cotton." The tyranny of this "single crop," he observed, caused "not only the poverty of the mral community" and "the low standards of living" but also the "laziness, near-peonage, monotonous diet and its influence upon ... lack of proper schooling" in the entire region (Darker Phases of the South [New York, 1924], 116, 117).

Though Tannenbaum's muckraking account was sensationalist, few scholars today would disagree with its basic narrative: that between Reconstruction and the New Deal, cotton's grip on the South vastly expanded, pulling in former yeomen and freedpeople and submerging them in tenancy, dependency, malnutrition, and stagnant...

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A539646802