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What You Didn't Know About the South: Surprises from a White Southerner

“The South” is an idea too often wrapped in a fog that emanates from the left as well as the right.

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Slowly and painfully, southerners have become more honest and accurate, and by degrees more brave, about facing the past. But the hot button topic is easily politicized, not only by raving right-wingers, but well-meaning liberals. I hope Mr. Birkenhead will return to discover the variety of the region and its people. The sugar plantation system of Louisiana and the Lost Causers who romanticize it are but one manifestation of the South's history. To discount the many places where the past--in all its complexity -- has been brought to light discounts the work of tireless and careful historians, both black and white.

History offers paradoxes to challenge our understanding and force us to put away easy answers and pat narratives. As human beings, we are infinitely complex, and our truth is always much more interesting than fiction, whatever its source.

 

Lynn Parramore is an AlterNet contributing editor. She is co-founder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of 'Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture.' Follow her on Twitter @LynnParramore.

 
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