Why Has America Been So Reluctant to ‘Own’ the South?

A Preeminent Historian Explores How a Region Central to U.S. Identity Gets Written Out of the National Narrative

James C. Cobb is Emeritus B. Phinizy Spalding distinguished professor in the history of the American South at the University of Georgia. He has published 13 books and many articles focusing on the interaction of the economy, politics, and culture in the American South. Three of his books—The Selling of the South: The Southern Crusade for Industrial Development 1936-1990, Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity, and The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity—are considered classics in the field.

In December …

More In: New England

What One New England Tree Can Tell Us About the Earth’s Future

By Studying a Single Massachusetts Oak, I Recorded How Climate Change Is Confusing Nature

Trees are up to more than we think. Belying their image as mute, unmoving, and solitary, trees are not just standing there. They move. Breathe. Communicate. Politically astute and nimbly …

Like Maple Syrup, Vermont’s Identity Is Complex and Messy

My Research on "Sugaring" Connects Me With Stories of a Rustic, Self-Reliant State

When people all over the country think of Vermont, they think of maple. No matter the reasons that people come here—skiing and leaf-peeping are two—they often take some Vermont home, …

What Leaf Peeping in New England Taught Me About the Meaning of Autumn

Trees Don't Really Turn Colors, and Fall Signifies New Life, Not Death

The migration north happens every fall. Just as the V-formations of Canada geese head south, flocks, groves, and busloads of “leaf peepers” head to northern New England from all over …

The 1938 Hurricane That Revived New England’s Fall Colors

An Epic Natural Disaster Restored the Forest of an Earlier America

This morning, while driving in central Vermont, listening to the latest news about hurricanes in Florida and Texas, I caught up with my first leaf peeper of the season. …