Synopses & Reviews
"An engagingly written and conceptually original study that significantly enhances our understanding of how southern migration redefined the United States. Gregory makes great use of the life stories of individuals, both ordinary and famous to illustrate the broader transformations he describes. . . . An enormously informative study of value to all students of modern America."
Journal of American Ethnic History "Gregory sets a new standard. . . . His work will serve as a model as future scholars extend his insights."
-- Canadian Journal of History "Gregory's endeavor raises some intriguing points. . . . [Gregory's] book is a much-needed and fresh look into the discourse of American migration studies."-- Alabama Review "Outstanding. . . . On the leading edge of a growing interdisciplinary literature . . . a must-read for all scholars and students."
-- Journal of Regional Science "Fascinating."-- Seattle Times "Likely to become a standard title in the bibliography of important works on twentieth century American history."
-- Arkansas Libraries "This well-researched and documented work will now be required reading for historians and sociologists interested in the impact of internal migration on American society. . . . This is solid scholarship that integrates a significant amount of secondary sources while introducing the reader to an array of original work. It will remain pertinent for years to come, and should spawn additional research."
-- Journal of Social History
Between 1900 and the 1970s, twenty million southerners migrated north and west. Weaving together for the first time the histories of these black and white migrants, James Gregory traces their paths and experiences in a comprehensive new study that demonstrates how this regional diaspora reshaped America by "southernizing" communities and transforming important cultural and political institutions.
Challenging the image of the migrants as helpless and poor, Gregory shows how both black and white southerners used their new surroundings to become agents of change. Combining personal stories with cultural, political, and demographic analysis, he argues that the migrants helped create both the modern civil rights movement and modern conservatism. They spurred changes in American religion, notably modern evangelical Protestantism, and in popular culture, including the development of blues, jazz, and country music.
In a sweeping account that pioneers new understandings of the impact of mass migrations, Gregory recasts the history of twentieth-century America. He demonstrates that the southern diaspora was crucial to transformations in the relationship between American regions, in the politics of race and class, and in the roles of religion, the media, and culture.
Twenty million southerners moved north and west between 1900 and the 1970s. Weaving together for the first time the histories of black and white migrants, Gregory traces their paths and experiences in a groundbreaking study that demonstrates how this regional diaspora reshaped America by "southernizing" communities and transforming important cultural institutions such as music, religion, and politics.