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Rowdy Tales from Early Alabama, Rowdy Tales from Early Alabama, 0817304770, 0-8173-0477-0, 978-0-8173-0477-5, 9780817304775, , , Rowdy Tales from Early Alabama, 0817388710, 0-8173-8871-0, 978-0-8173-8871-3, 9780817388713,

Rowdy Tales from Early Alabama
The Humor of John Gorman Barr
by John Gorman Barr
Edited by G. Ward Hubbs

Quality Paper
1989. 232 pp.
Price:  $19.95 s
E Book
232 pp.
Price:  $19.95 d

The rollicking tales of Old Southwestern humor were a distinctive contribution to American folk culture provided by the frontiersmen of the South and Southwest, a tradition brought to its highest form in the work of Mark Twain. Among the precursors of Twain was John Gorman Barr of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Like Twain, Barr grew up in a river town, worked in a printing office, and traveled widely; and again like Twain, Barr drew upon the people and places of his home region as the primary sources for his tales.

In addition to the pure entertainment Barr’s stories provide, they also furnish a comprehensive picture of Tuscaloosa and western Alabama in the 1850s—the roaring river town coexisting uneasily with the intellectual sophistication of the recently established University of Alabama.

“Here are tales of everyday life:…the adventures of steamboat captains, courtroom scenes, stagecoach rides, and much more. Proud of his own Scotch-Irish ancestry, Barr frequently uses characters that are Irish, a group prominent in early Tuscaloosa.” —Alabama Bookshelf

“The John Gorman Barr stories tell us something worth knowing about life in antebellum Alabama. The frontier conditions during the early period of settlement, the mores of planters and plain folk, and the variety of ethnic strains, even in smaller interior towns like Tuscaloosa, come through very nicely in these tales. I enjoyed reading this.”—Charles B. Dew, Williams College

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