The South in a Time of Revolution

John Devanny


The occasional essay was characterised by its personal and conversational style. It dealt usually with things of contemporary interest but with an insight and humane attention superior to ordinary discussion. It wore its considerable learning lightly and sometimes revealed a little gentle humour.

John Devanny’s work is in the great tradition of Southern essayists like Poe, Simms, Weaver, Davidson, O’Connor, and Percy.


“This modest collection is designed to express the mentalitie’ of a Southern conservative who holds to the old verities of faith and family, place, tradition, and custom. And who views history, and politics, and culture through the lens of not just changes, but important continuities.”

“ . . . we know our good Yankee progressive cannot stop at the borders of his home state;  He wants to bring the City on the Hill to you, whether you want it or not. “

“The monuments erected in honour of specific political and military leaders of the Confederacy and of its ordinary soldiers and citizens, are meant to call to mind the fortitude, forbearance, patience in suffering, and self-sacrifice practiced by these men and women. . . . Indeed, this should be the working assumption of any civilized individual who comes upon the monuments of the other side.  Only barbarians desecrate.”

‘‘ . . .  once the impious destroys the ties to tradition and piety, so too are the virtues that are allow for civilisation  to be sundered. . . . One can reject the patrimony, but once the house is pulled down and the Jacobin has sown the wind, what then shall he reap?”

“Let us I advocate instead for the best in the Southern tradition and rebuild it each day and in every moment of our lives.  Let us avoid (and forgive) the sins of our fathers, but more so let us imitate their virtues and always defend their honour.”


  • Musings on Dislocation
  • Fall Planting
  • R. Ducks
  • Football and the South
  • How ‘bout a Little Bourbon with Your Philosophy?
  • Gentleman Bob and the Decline of the South
  • Guns, Yankees, and Such
  • Pietas in the Era of Revolution
  • Through a Glass Darkly: Justice Kavanaugh and the Triumph of Symbol over Reality
  • The Blundering Generations and the Crises of Legitimacy
  • Contested Ground: Southern Identity and the Southern Tradition
  • The Sins of Harper Lee
  • All Slavery, All the Time
  • A Society with Slaves
  • John Randolph and the Formation of an American Conservative Persuasion
  • Poison Under the Wings: The Constitution and Its Defects
  • Zombies No More: Secession, Nullification, and the Academy
  • What We Have to Expect
  • Rhetoric, Reality, and the Late Unpleasantness
  • Southern Populism and the South’s Agrarian Identity
  • Where the Grapes of Wrath are Stored: The Reconstruction of Southern Religion
  • The Late Unpleasantness: Memory, Meaning and Understanding
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Paperback ISBN: 978-1947660861

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