The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

idealism and the sense of mission in American foreign policy. He seeks
to explain why the realism of the South's experience as a colony failed
to halt its adoption of American expansionism. Citing their own recent
experiences with an invading force, Gilded Age leaders of the New
South dissented from American expansion. But when a southerner,
President Woodrow Wilson, launched his crusade for a new world
order, the New South felt a renewed sense of contributing to American
life. The bipolar United States-Soviet schism that emerged in the early
Cold War years shattered this faith and expressed itself in a unilateral
cold warriorship that eschewed the multilateralism of a Wilsonian
United Nations. Race, which historians often point to as the central
theme in southern attitudes toward foreign policy, is of less importance
than the dynamics of mission and expansion.
In this well-researched study, which includes an annotated bibliogra-
phy, McWilliams contributes the significant foreign policy themes of
mission and expansion to an understanding of southern foreign policy
views. It is unclear, however, why he does not consider race an equally
important factor.
Another problem with the study is McWilliams's use of case studies.
Instead of representing the diverse regional differences of the post-
bellum South, the studies focus on New South leaders in southeastern
states. Did leaders from western areas, such as Texas, share these
views? His choice of the editor of the Mobile Register, instead of a more
influential newspaper, is subjective. These matters aside, McWilliams
presents a fresh argument that deserves further investigation.
California State University, Long Beach ARLENE LAZAROWITZ
Plain Folk in the New South: Social Change and Cultural Persistence, i88o-
195. By I. A. Newby. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University
Press, 1989. Pp. xiv+588. Acknowledgments, introduction, notes,
appendix, tables, index. $35.)
This book concerns plain white folk in Georgia and the Carolinas,
based largely on oral histories done at Chapel Hill in the 193os and
1970s. Letting members of the impoverished white working class speak
for themselves, the author focuses on sharecroppers who went into the
textile mills from the 188os to the 191os. The work is divided into well-
written sections on the background of the plain folk, mill work, village
life, cultural persistence and social change, and class themes. Newby ar-
gues that these families influenced their environment, resisted efforts
to rid them of their traditional customs, and were less demoralized and
culturally dispossessed than their "linthead" image usually connotes.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/. Accessed October 23, 2014.