A review of J. Wayne Flynt, Dixie’s Forgotten People: The South’s Poor Whites. Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1979.
Professor Flynt, the author of this volume, concentrates on the economic condition and the cultural life of poor white Southerners, but does not fail to mention some of the vices of the American majority, especially the attempt, often unsuccessful, to impose their own values and lifestyle on the South. According to Flynt, one of the most difficult obstacles confronting those who attempt to assess Southern poor whites is the abundance of stereotypical definitions and judgments. For example, contrary to the popular view, all poor whites in the South were not (and are not) racists and rednecks, nor were (or are) most of them Klansmen and Holy Rollers. As Flynt observes in the Preface, “Getting to know people as individuals dissolves many of one’s pre-conceived notions about them, and so it is with Southern poor whites.”
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