Glenn Feldman's Introduction considers the special importance the South has played in American history and politics from the country's inception in 1776 to present. It also introduces and evaluates—as a backdrop to the chapters that follow—the recent debate between revisionist historians who argue that the South is not (and may never have been) distinctive relative to the rest of America, and the more traditional view that the region is distinctive and exceptional to the broader American experience. Feldman coins the term “profitarianism” to shed light on what he sees as the connection between an affinity for libertarianism and the southern regional identity vis-a-vis the federal government. The Introduction also provides brief summaries and commentary on the individual chapters that follow.
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