ATG Book of the Week of July 25, 2011
Dreaming of Dixie: How the South Was Created in American Popular Culture by Karen L. Cox. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2011. 9780807814718. 210 pages
For centuries, popular culture has portrayed the American South as a region ensconced in the antebellum past, represented by southern icons like the mammy, the belle, the chivalrous planter, white-columned mansions. Karen Cox, who is a professor of history at UNC-Charlotte, shows that the chief purveyors of these myths and stereotypes were outsiders to the region – advertising agencies, writers, musicians, publishers, radio personalities, filmmakers, and such. Cox is a native of West Virginia and has lived in North Carolina, Mississippi and Kentucky. She also sings praises of many libraries and librarians as well as the Caribou coffee shop in Charlotte. A fascinating book.