Grounded Globalism by James L. Peacock (review)

Grounded Globalism: How the U.S. South Embraces the World by James L. Peacock (University of Georgia Press, 2007)

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Grounded Globalism by James L. Peacock (review)

by Leon Fink
Southern Cultures, Vol. 15, No. 1: Spring 2009

University of Georgia Press, 2007

Reading this book makes me wish I were (back) in the land of cotton and feng shui, namely Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Part-ethnography, part-philosophical treatise, part-memoir, Grounded Globalism reflects the sunny disposition as well as the accumulated wisdom of the distinguished anthropologist James L. Peacock, long a champion of multicultural and international studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A scholar who has ranged widely across the culture and religion of both Southeast Asia and the U.S. South, Peacock here brings his far-flung interests together in a personal, creative assessment of the impact of “globalization” on the region. Though collecting information from many places, he relies mostly on stories from his beloved university town as well as his native South Georgia. Indeed, if forced to put my reaction to the book on a bumper sticker, I would be tempted to revise the classic Chapel Hill slogan, “the Southern Part of Heaven” to “the Heavenly Part of the Global South.”