What's this book I didn't buy?
June 8, 2012 6:28 PM   Subscribe

What book about white privilege did I look at that one time in a bookstore and not buy? Details inside

I think this book was published 5-10 years ago. It was a somewhat large format book about the topic of southern culture prior to integration - not a coffee table book, but somewhat larger than average page size, because I think it contained several pictures. The cover, as I recalled, featured a photograph, apparently taken in the 60s or 70s, of a white man wearing a suit and standing in front of a luxury car, like a Continental or Cadillac of the era. I remember the cover being striking because the picture seemed - random. Not a famous person (at least not one I was aware of, nor someone named in the title). And yet it evoked the era quite well.

I remember scanning some of the first chapter, and the book seemed to be an attempt to describe the majority culture of the south at the time with a view toward explaining why it was so resistant to changing - what whites feared losing, for example. I do NOT remember the book being "pro-white-privilege" or coming at it from any obvious racist or otherwise biased view. Rather, it was a somewhat scholarly (in the mass-market sense of the word) attempt to describe the mindset of white southerners at the time.

I'm reading Robert Caro's The Passage of Power about Lyndon Johnson, and it's renewing my interest in the era and the segregation issue(s)
posted by randomkeystrike to Society & Culture (4 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Wow! I knew that when the answer came, as it inevitably would, because the hive mind is crazy good at this sort of thing, I would be confronted with how poorly I'd remembered the cover. Okay, it's not a luxury car, and I'd forgotten the African-American man standing next to the white man. I'm embarassed. But thanks! Bonus points - available on Kindle!
posted by randomkeystrike at 6:38 PM on June 8, 2012

I know this has nothing to do with your question, but as far as "interest in the era and the segregation issue(s)", I'll recommend Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns, which is about the Great Migration of African-Americans out of the South between 1910 and 1970. Wilkerson spends a fair amount of time on just how incredibly, irredeemably shitty things were back then.
posted by Etrigan at 7:00 PM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

Another unsolicited book recommendation, Hellhound on his Trail, the story of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that is a vivid a picture of the era.
posted by Anitanola at 7:19 PM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I've actually looked at the sample if Hellhound on his Trail. It seemed interesting - it's in the "to strongly cosider buying" pile. So five years from now when I ask "what was that book about the King assassination - there was something about dogs in the title"... I say five years because it may take me that long to get through Caro's book...
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:59 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

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