Why is there a “South”? What is this place we call the South? What makes it different from other parts of the United States?
Many years ago, the Alabama writer Clarence Cason wrote that the South was “self-conscious enough and sufficiently insulated to be thought of as a separate province.” Echoing the same theme, W.J. Cash called the South, “not quite a nation within a nation, but the next thing to it.” In his book The American Dilemma, the Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal agreed that the South was “a nation within a nation.” The historian Ulrich B. Phillips once quipped about a ferryman calling the north bank of the Ohio River “the American shore.”