The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987

Book Reviews
Southern Progressivism: The Reconciliation of Progress and Tradition. By
Dewey W. Grantham. (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee
Press, 1983. Pp. xxii+468. Acknowledgments, introduction, illus-
trations, tables, maps, bibliographical essay, index. $34.95, cloth;
$16.95, paper.)
In a movement spanning the first two decades of the twentieth cen-
tury, Progressives obviously shared many common interests and ideas.
However, what passed for a Progressive or progressivism in one part of
the nation might not have been so viewed in another; personalities and
issues varied from time to time, region to region, and state to state.
These indigenous regional qualities have always challenged historians
who attempt to write about the movement with a sense of order and
understanding. Dewey Grantham's book on progressivism in one re-
gion of the nation, the South, is a model for all future writing on the
subject. While extensive footnotes and a thoughtful bibliography gen-
erously recognize the contributions others have made to the field,
Grantham clearly demonstrates his own profound understanding of
the subject. His masterful synthesis of forty years of scholarship makes
the study preeminent in its field.
One of the reasons for the book's success is the way in which the ma-
terial is organized, the emphasis being topical rather than chronologi-
cal. Recognizing that all southerners were not alike, Grantham first de-
scribes the political setting in which progressivism developed in each of
the South's subregions; the lower South, the upper South, and the
Southwest. Then he devotes six chapters to areas where progressive
change in the region occurred: regulation, prohibition and morality
issues, social justice, education, efficiency and modernization, and aid
to farmers. His third and last section enlarges the regional focus and
deals with the role southern Progressives played in the Woodrow Wil-
son administrations, the impact of World War I on the progressive

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed September 2, 2014.