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Southern Crucible

The Making of an American Region, Volume I: To 1877

William A. Link

Publication Date - November 2015

ISBN: 9780199763627

336 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $44.99

Offers a balanced and comprehensive examination of the American South, emphasizing the role of racial hierarchy in shaping the region's history


Southern Crucible: The Making of an American Region seeks to fashion a new narrative about the American South. Informed by the most current scholarship in the field, the book offers a balanced look at the region's social, political, cultural, and economic history over four centuries, from pre-contact to the present. Focusing on several major themes in southern history--including the role of racial hierarchy, the role of women and gender, and the impact of immigration--author William A. Link presents the area's distinct history while carefully highlighting its remarkable diversity and geographic, cultural, and economic differences. Fast-paced and engaging, Southern Crucible challenges students to reexamine the region's history and culture and discover the legacy that the South has had on the entire nation's history.

Southern Crucible: The Making of an American Region is available in a combined volume and two split volumes.

About the Author(s)

William A. Link is Richard J. Milbauer Professor of History at the University of Florida. He is the author of several books, including The Paradox of Southern Progressivism, 1880-1930 (1992), Roots of Secession: Slavery and Politics in Antebellum Virginia (2003), and Atlanta, Cradle of the New South: Race and Remembering in the Civil War's Aftermath (2013).


"Southern Crucible is a sweeping, fast-paced history of the South that manages to be both broad in subject and concise in analysis. Link has mastered the difficult task of organizing southern history into a readable two-volume set. It is the best overview of both classic and recent writings on the history of the South available today."--James C. Giesen, Mississippi State University

"William A. Link's new history of the American South is a game changer. A widely respected scholar of the region, Link is the ideal historian to depict the region and its complex past. We have come to expect diligent research, smooth writing, and insightful studies from Link's pen, and yet he exceeds those expectations in this welcome new history. Students will appreciate the volumes' comprehensiveness and readable prose; faculty will value Link's ability to weave the history of the region into the national story. In these two volumes we witness the span of southern history and its tortured social, political, cultural, and economic past. These volumes offer stories that are at once regional and national."--Jonathan Daniel Wells, University of Michigan

"Distinguished scholar William A. Link's Southern Crucible is an engaging and authoritative text for teachers and students alike. The book's rich narrative reflects state- of-the-art scholarship and provides new interpretive perspectives that reshape the field. The book is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand the American South in the context of U.S., Atlantic, and world history. It is masterful in its structure, coverage, and argument."--Michele Gillespie, Wake Forest University

Table of Contents

    Volume 1

    I: Origins

    1. The Atlantic South
    2. Land and Labor in the Chesapeake
    3. The Carolinas, Georgia, and the Making of a Plantation Society
    4. The South before the Revolution

    II: Solidifying the Slave Society

    5. The Era of Revolution
    6. A Slaveholders' Republic
    7. King Cotton
    8. Honor and Antebellum Culture

    III: Crisis of Union

    9. The Age of Jackson
    10. The Mexican War and Sectional Crisis
    11. Secession and Civil War
    12. The Civil War and the Destruction of Slavery