ABOUT THIS BOOK
The rollicking tales of Old Southwestern humor were a distinctive contribution to American folk culture provided by the frontiersmen of the South and Southwest, a tradition brought to its highest form in the work of Mark Twain. Among the precursors of Twain was John Gorman Barr of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Like Twain, Barr grew up in a river town, worked in a printing office, and traveled widely; and again like Twain, Barr drew upon the people and places of his home region as the primary sources for his tales.
In addition to the pure entertainment Barr’ s stories provide, they also furnish a comprehensive picture of Tuscaloosa and western Alabama in the 1850s— the roaring river town coexisting uneasily with the intellectual sophistication of the recently established University of Alabama.