The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory

Winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award & the Charles S. Sydnor Award
Finalist for the John Hope Franklin Prize
The Southern Past originated with the author’s interest in the divergent and competing historical memories of black and white southerners. This work stands apart in a time when commentators interpret debates over the Confederate battle flag as evidence of contemporary “political correctness” and “identity politics”. Instead, The Southern Past attempts to contextualize this debate through the lens of a century and a half of contestation between whites and blacks over the history of the region and nation.
It has received many awards, most notably the Lillian Smith Book Award courtesy of the Southern Regional Council, the Charles S. Sydnor Award courtesy of the Southern Historical Association; the book was also a Finalist for the John Hope Franklin Prize, American Studies Association.

“Fitzhugh Brundage offers a glittering set of related essays…within a lively and very readable narrative frame, Brundage turns up delectable morsels of insight at every turn.” – Leon Fink, Journal of Social History

“Somehow W. Fitzhugh Brundage has managed to write a fine and important book on the power of historical memory in the South since the Civil War without once quoting William Faulkner.” – Grace E. Hale, Journal of Southern History

“The Southern Past brings new sophistication to historians’ understanding of Civil War memory and, more important, deepens historians’ appreciation of how public memory is created and sustained. No other book has so carefully examined the institution and practices that preserve it or has so astutely analyzed how memory sustains dominance and how power shapes memories. Brundage thus makes an important contribution to the way scholars conceptualize history. And, to his great credit, he challenges historians to think about how history has been and is used to maintain dominance and urge white southerners to reexamine the historical roots of their identity.” – Gaines Foster, Journal of American History

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