cover of book

Hillbilly Realist: Herman Clarence Nixon of Possum Trot
edited by Sarah Newman Shouse
University of Alabama Press, 1986
Paper: 978-0-8173-5149-6 | Cloth: 978-0-8173-0299-3
Library of Congress Classification F215.N59S48 1986
Dewey Decimal Classification 975.0072024


A 20th-century prophet who offered a vision of democratic community.

"Herman Clarence Nixon (1886-1967) was an outstanding professor of history and political science and persistent southern liberal during the middle third of the 20th century. Shouse's biography of Nixon thoroughly explores his contributions as an academician and a liberal advocate. . . . Shouse's narrative of his youth, education, academic career, and liberal activism is lively. The information she presents concerning Nixon's experiences in Paris during 1919, his involvement in the writing of I'll Take My Stand, his leadership in the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, and his contributions to southern historiography certainly enriches our knowledge."

American Historical Review

"Nixon suffered for his actions. . . . It is a testimony to what C. Vann Woodward called 'hillbilly realism' that Nixon could nonetheless find solace in the simplest forms of community. Because his life was the cautionary tale that Shouse presents, there is value in pondering whether Nixon's country ways were really obsolete—or part of the bedrock on which the momentous changes of recent years are still being built."

Journal of American History

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