History Prof Completes Book on Southern Scholar
for immediate release Aug. 25, 1997ABILENE - Dr. Fred Bailey, professor of history at Abilene Christian University, has authored a new book, "William Edward Dodd: The South's Yeoman Scholar," published as part of the Minds of the New South series by the University Press of Virginia.
The series is dedicated to the intellectual history of the South in the 20th century. Bailey's study of Dodd is a part of his greater effort to investigate the ways that white Southerners wrote their accounts of the past.
"In the tradition of Wendell Holmes Stephenson, Bailey has sought out and used effectively a rich corpus of obscure letters that provide an insightful 'inside' view of Dodd, his ideas, and the world of the historian in the early 20th century," said John David Smith of North Carolina State University. "He is very good at underscoring how Dodd's ideological concerns...became enmeshed with his historical scholarship."
Dodd, 1869-1940, grew up in an impoverished background in North Carolina which taught him to despise patrician privilege. Through his entire life, he was very class conscious and equally criticized groups such as Northern business men, Southern aristocrats, and European forces for their oppression of others.
Most of Dodd's intellectual peers came from the Southern upper classes and had developed an image of the past that defended the "Lost Cause," despised Yankees and Negroes and were pro-aristocracy. Dodd stood apart from them as a supporter of reform and democracy. He was unique in that he used history to critique and criticize the injustices of the class system.
In his life, Dodd served as an important Southern intellectual, historian and diplomat (to Germany during the rise of Adolf Hitler, 1933-37). He was a friend to many important people in American history such as Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
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