“In his study of the New South and foreign affairs, Tennant McWilliams raises a central question: why have southerners failed to develop a realistic attitude about U.S. relations with the rest of the world? He notes that throughout their history southerners have encountered failure, poverty, guilt, defeat, and ridicule and that their experiences seem at odds with the notions of invincibility that have fueled the flames of American idealism. Yet McWilliams points out that southerners have joined with northerners in accepting the ideas of a mission to extend the American way of life to people around the world. Thus, he asks, what happened between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the cold war that can help explain the failure of realism to dampen the crusading spirit in the South.”—American Historical Review
Tennant S. McWilliams is a Professor of History and Dean Emeritus of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UAB, a native Alabamian, and author of New Lights in the Valley: The Emergence of UAB and Hannis Taylor: The New Southerner as American.