Tuesday, July 4, 2017

John Crowe Ransom’s Last Stand


“The modern man has lost his sense of vocation.” “A Statement of Principles,” I’ll Take My Stand
“One wonders what the authors of our Constitution would have thought
of that category, ‘permanently unemployable.’”  –Wendell Berry

A Review of Land!: The Case For an Agrarian Economy by John Crowe Ransom, Edited by Jason Peters, Introduction by Jay T. Collier University of Notre Dame Press, 2017, 127 pp

Of the twelve men who wrote the seminal classic I’ll Take My Stand none were more important to the agrarian cause, yet distanced himself more thoroughly from it, than John Crowe Ransom. It’s almost certain that without Ransom I’ll Take My Stand would never have been written, nor would the Twelve Southerners who were associated with it have existed as a definable group.

Ransom, born the son of a Methodist minister in Pulaski, Tennessee, was something of a prodigy. He entered Vanderbilt at the age of 15, graduating first in his class, then attended Oxford’s Christ Church College as a Rhodes Scholar. Just as Europe was engulfed in war, Ransom was appointed professor at Vanderbilt, only to be dragged into the war himself.

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