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The New Mind of the South
"A narrative that pulls on new data, interviews, historic archives and plain old observation.....I'm thinking The New Mind of the South has come along at just the right time."
—Garden & Gun Magazine (read the full review)
"Combining her own experiences and observations with solid ethnographic and historical research, Thompson covers topics including immigration (after 1990, following 200 years of relative isolation, North Carolina and Georgia had the largest immigrant population growth in the U.S.); religion, race, politics, community; the disappearance of the rural South, and the urbanization of Atlanta. The result is a nuanced—and sometimes astringently humorous—portrait of a multifaceted, often misunderstood region that overturns stereotypes." Starred Review; pick for "Best New Books for the Week of 03/04"
—Publishers Weekly (read the full review)
"...quietly brilliant...a rigorous psychological profile told in the easy drawl of a homecoming story...A Yankee couldn't get away with this book. But Thompson's upbringing in Georgia allows for an intimacy of insight (not to mention a pleasing front-porch cadence) that tempers her chastisements with a weary strain of compassion. She loves the South and, though she recognizes its many flaws, ultimately wants to see it heal."
—J. Bryan Lowder, The Slate (read the full review)
"Thompson draws nicely on personal experiences, interviews and visits to conventions of the Children of the Confederacy and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
A well-considered, well-written appraisal of a region that is more complicated than many readers realize."
"In her able blend of reportage, travelogue, and memoir, she discovers a region that's anything but homogeneous...The New Mind of the South is a lucid and inspired endeavor that gracefully handles the Southern paradoxes and polishes away rusted typecasts."
"Tracy Thompson's valuable book brings into modern times the search for Southern identity undertaken seventy years ago by W.J. Cash. With clear-eyed reporting, she shows us the multi-ethnic and more individualistic South that is emerging from the still-powerful matrix of black-white race relations, religion, and one-party politics. She argues that there is a newer New South of demographic diversity, and this book makes an impressive stride toward a fresh Southern sociology needed to carry students of the region beyond the familiar labels of Bible Belt and Sun Belt."
—Howell Raines, former editor of the New York Times, author of My Soul is Rested: Movement Days in the Deep South Remembered
"The more that's written about the American South—as a region and as a mindset—the more confused people seem to be. Tracy Thompson helps clear up the myths and the outdated stereotypes. She correctly portrays the South and its people not as stubborn but as always changing. This is a knowing and sensitive book."
—Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Einstein: His Life and Universe
"[Thompson's] insights are frank and often funny..."
—Houston Chronicle (read the full review)
"Thompson's casual anecdotes and observations unravel the South's contradictory historical layers but also chart the impact of more recent economic and demographic shifts on the region. The New Mind of the South is a clear-eyed, deeply considered look at the evolution of a part of the country that, more than a century after the end of the Civil War, continues to remain something of a foreign entity to rest of the nation."
—The Daily Beast (read the full review)