The American South has long been a subject of endless scholarly fascination. Historians and social scientists have endeavored to decipher the "enigma" of the region and to identify the formative factors that have molded the southern experience.They have searched for a "central theme" that would explain southern behavior and have debated the extent to which the region was "distinctive" from the rest of the nation. More recently, historical scholarship has shown a growing interest in the evolution of southern culture and the forces that shaped it.
The southern enigma is yet to be fully deciphered, but The Evolution of Southern Culture addresses questions crucial to an understanding of the region's history. The book brings together original, searching essays by nine of the nation's most distinguished scholars: Immanuel Wallerstein, Eugene D. Genovese, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Eric Foner, Nell Irvin Painter, George M. Frederickson, Joel Williamson, Bertram Wyatt-Brown