The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction by Edward L. Ayers (Review)

The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction by Edward L. Ayers (Oxford University Press, 1992)

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The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction by Edward L. Ayers (Review)

by Robert C. McMath
Southern Cultures, Inaugural Issue: 1993

Oxford University Press, 1992

Edward Ayers confesses that while he was working on The Promise of the New South “someone else’s book was never far from my mind.” For more than forty years, C. Vann Woodward’s magisterial Origins of the New South, 1877-1913 has never been far from the minds of those who write about the post-Reconstruction South. Origins has so dominated the field that even its challengers have worked largely within its categories.