W.J. Cash, a Life

Bruce Clayton, Author Louisiana State University Press $29.95 (236p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1647-0
This vivid portrait of the author of the influential The Mind of the South reveals both the making of a historian and the self-destruction of an artist. Recreating Cash's (1900-1941) coming-of-age in the Jim Crow South, Clayton ( Forgotten Prophet: The Life of Randolph Bourne ) suggests the influences that fed Cash's compulsion to write about his heritage and helped to develop his central theses, such as his belief that ``southern whites . . . sprang from a common, humble source.'' Cash as a troubled free spirit is also brought to life, characterized here as a brilliant but despondent former Menckenite who drank too much, had difficulty holding a job, drove his publisher to distraction with missed deadlines, and finally hanged himself. A concluding chapter, `` The Mind of the South in History,'' provides useful textual analysis and an overview of the ``staying power'' of Cash's magnum opus. Yet it is the image of Cash himself--a balding, anxious man who viewed his book as ``written in blood''--that best spells out the force of this study of its author and of the American South. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.