The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (190721).
VOLUME XVI. Early National Literature, Part II; Later National Literature, Part I.
IV. The New South: Lanier.
§ 10. The New South.
|But the figures we have passed in review, revered and stately though they be, and eloquently as they avowed the new spirit of allegiance to a common country, in reality belonged to an earlier generation than that of the Reconstruction period. Those who did not, like Bagby and Johnston, sing the glories of an aristocratic civilization resting on slavery, were at least imbued, like Vance and Hill and Gordon, with the elder spirit, which regarded politics as the only arena toward which ambition beckoned. Their writings are consequently concerned with lofty ideals of human rights and the limits of governmental action. They are rhythmic with the cadences of an oratory which too frequently forsook cold argument for fervid appeals to tradition and class interests. Rare was the apostle like Curry who preached the democratic necessity of developing both the black and the white races. Rarer still was the seer like Lamar who divined that the hope of the future lay in going to work to develop the material resources of the section.