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Most-Read Online Essays & Features

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Over the last few years, 250,000 students, scholars, and fans from all over the globe have accessed our content hundreds of thousands of times: in print, online, and in eBook formats for Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader.

Our last decade of material includes hundreds of essays, articles, interviews, and other features. The following list is the Top 10 Most-Read Online Essays & Features from the past year. For those who have access through their university, college, or library, the links will take you to the full text of the essay or feature in the Project Muse digital library. As newer titles appear on the list, they will include links to the eBook versions for Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader.

1.  Jim Crow’s Drug War: Race, Coca Cola, and the Southern Origins of Drug Prohibition
     by Michael Cohen
     ”‘You could buy all the dope you wanted in the drug store. Just ask for it, and you got it.’”

2.  The Edible South
     by Marcie Cohen Ferris
     ”I used to give a speech which began by claiming that Ella Baker invented the 1960s. That’s not as crazy as it sounds.”

3.  “Oh, so many startlements…”: History, Race, and Myth in O Brother, Where Art Thou? 
     
by Hugh Ruppersburg
     “It’s a southern tall tale, the story of a confidence man, of a treasure hunt, of a man trying to prove himself to his children and estranged wife, of a political campaign, of three buddies on the road, of the quest for home.”

4.  Food for Thought: Race, Region, Identity, and Foodways in the American South
     by Beth A. Latshaw
     ”Its sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and touch are thought to evoke reminiscences of childhood, stir up emotions from the past, and aid southerners in creating new memories around the modern dining table. In the hearts and minds of southerners from the past and present, only one thing could possibly embody such traits and induce such sentiment: southern food.”  

5.  “The South Got Something to Say”: Atlanta’s Dirty South and the Southernization of Hip-Hop America
     by Darren E. Grem
“We got the feel of the blues, the togetherness of funk music, the conviction of gospel music, the energy of rock, and the improvisation of jazz.”

6.  Elvis Presley and the Politics of Popular Memory
     by Michael T. Bertand
     ”‘A Lonely Life Ends on Elvis Presley Boulevard,’ blared the headline of a late-summer special edition of the Memphis Press-Scimitar. ‘The King is Dead.’”

7.  “The Dread Void of Uncertainty”: Naming the Dead in the American Civil War
     by Drew Gilpin Faust
     “The Civil War left some 620,000 American soldiers dead– more than the total number killin all other American wars from the Revolution to Vietnam. But whose responsibility would it be to track the soldiers’ deaths, inform their families, and record their names? On the battlefield of Antietam”

8.  Tracking the Economic Divergence of the North and the South
     by Peter A. Coclanis
     “Plantations dominated the southern economy by the 1770s, and those who controlled them had decisively shaped the region’s economic course, and, perhaps, destiny.”

9.  O Brother, What Next?: Making Sense of the Folk Fad 
     by Benjamin Filene
     “Think of the tale of Bob Dylan going electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival and an enraged Alan Lomax trying to pin Dylan’s manager to the ground while Pete Seeger hunted for an ax to cut the cables.”
 
10.  Promoting the Gothic South
      by Rebecca C. McIntyre
      “Taking a boat ride down a swampy southern river was a thrilling escape into the unknown, a peep show of the grotesque, a blending of the realistic and the fantastic, which thrilled in a strange and disturbing way.”

Featured Photo: Ella Baker, Myles Horton, Fred Shuttlesworth, and others in group meeting at the Highlander Folk School, 1950′s.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Lidia #

    Admiring the time and energy you put into your site and detailed information you provide. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material. Great read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    April 4, 2013

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