“Dr. Winchell was a lively exemplar of the Southern literary tradition . . . A true man of letters.”
— CLYDE WILSON, University of South Carolina
Born and bred in Ohio, Mark Royden Winchell was an unlikely Southerner. But after graduate school at Vanderbilt—where he befriended, and became a noted authority on, many of the literary giants who had emerged from that university—he spent his entire adult life in the South. More important, he became one of the most respected defenders of the Southern tradition, placing Southern literature and politics at the center of the twentieth-century American experience.
The Cause of Us All, Winchell’s final book, represents his most important and personal reflection on the American South. Writing from the perspective of a self-proclaimed “copperhead,” Winchell offers a contrarian take on American and Southern history, including thoughtful reassessments of such secular saints as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., and an insightful look at the transition from the Old South to the New. He also examines the politics of Southern literary culture. The Cause of Us All covers issues ranging from the Agrarian movement of the 1930s—whose social and economic vision surely speaks to our anxious age—to the non-Southern writers, including Robert Frost and John Steinbeck, who were sympathetic to the Southern vision.