Deep South: Memory and Observation

Deep South: Memory and Observation

by Erskine Caldwell


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Portraying a region steeped religious piety and ritual, excess and prejudice, Deep South is a product both of Erskine Caldwell the storyteller and Erskine Caldwell the minister's son.

Reverend Ira Sylvester Caldwell's missionary work took him and his family deep into the region commonly referred to as the Bible Belt. His son, Erskine, was at his side on innumerable home visits with the elderly, sick, and poor of Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Florida. By the time the younger Caldwell left home at seventeen, he had also witnessed such varieties of religious experience as "Church of God all-night camp meetings, Holy Roller exhibitions on splintery wooden floors, primitive Christian baptismal immersions in muddy creeks, Seventh-Day Adventist foot-washings, Body of Christ blood-drinking communions, Kingdom of God snakehandlings, Full Redeemer glossolalia services, Fire Baptized Holiness street-corner rallies, Catholic mass at midnight on Christmas Eve, the rituals of Jewish synagogues, and . . . philosophical lectures in Unitarian churches."

Decades later, Caldwell drew on this fertile background when he toured Georgia and neighboring states in order to hear firsthand from ministers and churchgoers about how southern Protestantism was faring amid the social upheaval of the mid-1960s. Deep South offers a rich mix of anecdotes, memories, interviews, and observations that point to what may be the true essence of southern spirituality.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820317168
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication date: 04/01/1995
Series: Brown Thrasher Books Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 393,711
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

ERSKINE CALDWELL (1903-1987) was born in Newnan, Georgia. He became one of America's most widely read, prolific, and critically debated writers, with a literary output of more than sixty titles. At the time of his death, Caldwell's books had sold eighty million copies worldwide in more than forty languages. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1984.

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