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Discovering the SouthOne Man's Travels through a Changing America in the 1930s$
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Jennifer Ritterhouse

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630946

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630946.001.0001

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The Same Journey, Writ Small, That the United States Was On

(p.1) Introduction
Discovering the South

Jennifer Ritterhouse

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter introduces Jonathan Daniels and explains his intentions for his 1937 automobile trip around the South. He wanted to explore the range of political and cultural possibilities in the region during the Great Depression and show a truer picture than either plantation romance or "white trash" caricatures showed. His views as a white southern liberal and what his observations reveal about the start of the nation's long civil rights era are put into historical and historiographical context. The book Daniels published, A Southerner Discovers the South (1938), is compared to photo-documentary works of the era such as You Have Seen Their Faces and Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. The role of Jonathan Daniels's father, Josephus Daniels, in solidifying racial capitalism in North Carolina is introduced. The chapter concludes with a discussion of sources and methodology and a chapter outline.

Keywords:   A Southerner Discovers the South (1938), Historiography, Documentary, Racial capitalism, White southern liberals

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