Richard Jay Hutto
Also new . . .
(Oxford University Press, $24.95)
As a region, the South always seems planted on that line between quintessentially American and utterly foreign—sometimes central to the national zeitgeist and more often on the periphery, proud and defiant. James C. Cobb, a historian at the University of Georgia, has spent his career putting that sense of otherness into a much larger political, cultural, and economic context. His new book is a fascinating journey through the three generations leading up to the 2008 presidential election, with the region “a strikingly red island in an increasingly blue sea.” As in all of Cobb’s books, the writing is lively, and priceless nuggets of trivia illustrate monumental shifts in human history. “Tractors only enhanced the relative advantages of farming on a larger scale,” Cobb writes, “and as fleets of them rolled into the field at one end, plowmen leading their mules made their exits from the other.” In the deep South, the mule population plummeted some 350,000 after the war.
(Vanguard Press, $15.95)
In this ubersweet love story wrapped in a faux Irish fable by Atlantan Patti Callahan Henry, a young singer-songwriter is torn between fame and family. “Jimmy Sullivan—God bless his soul—wrote the perfect Christmas song,” the novel begins, setting the folksy tone. “Now, I’m not the only one who says this, so don’t go thinking this is just my opinion. This was so perfect a song that it almost ruined him.”
God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right by Daniel K. Williams
(Oxford University Press, $29.95)
Daniel K. Williams, an assistant professor at the University of West Georgia, puts the Christian Right in deep historical context, charting all the cultural changes and electoral shifts since the 1920s that have allowed evangelicals to methodically redefine American politics.
Atlanta: Yesterday & Today by Rebecca Burns
(West Side Publishing, $24.95)
This oversized coffee table book by former Atlanta editor in chief Rebecca Burns traces the city’s history from “Standing Peachtree” to “The ATL.” Historic images and thoroughly researched text provide an in-depth look into a “city built on self-confidence.”