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Minstrelsy and Murder: The Crisis of Southern Humor, 1835–1925 (review)

Minstrelsy and Murder: The Crisis of Southern Humor, 1835–1925 (review) While Reed and Horne offer the clever insight that religion functions as "the spiritual equivalent of a Microsoft operating system" in the South, the metaphor is finally too dry. As the contributors to this volume well attest, southern religion is not just invisibly controlling; it is also primitive, visceral, seductive, oppressive, magnetic, dangerous, and exciting. Anyone (female or male) who has ever suffered from a sanitized spiritual life will find the germs of healing in this brave, quirky, and deeply faithful book. Minstrelsy and Murder The Crisis of Southern Humor, 85­925 By Andrew Silver Louisiana State University Press, 200 224 pp. Cloth, $42.95 Reviewed by Johanna Shields, who is professor emerita of history at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and has written about the dark side of southern humor. The cover art and title to Andrew Silver's Minstrelsy and Murder are fair warning: this is a book about humor that will not let you smile. As Silver sees it, the late nineteenth century marked the end of a genial southern humor that obscured the injustices of class, gender, and race. Slowly, there emerged a dark new strain that revealed iniquity by juxtaposing comic and tragic images. Silver http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

Minstrelsy and Murder: The Crisis of Southern Humor, 1835–1925 (review)

Southern Cultures , Volume 14 (1) – Feb 13, 2008

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Center for the Study of the American South. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1534-1488
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

While Reed and Horne offer the clever insight that religion functions as "the spiritual equivalent of a Microsoft operating system" in the South, the metaphor is finally too dry. As the contributors to this volume well attest, southern religion is not just invisibly controlling; it is also primitive, visceral, seductive, oppressive, magnetic, dangerous, and exciting. Anyone (female or male) who has ever suffered from a sanitized spiritual life will find the germs of healing in this brave, quirky, and deeply faithful book. Minstrelsy and Murder The Crisis of Southern Humor, 85­925 By Andrew Silver Louisiana State University Press, 200 224 pp. Cloth, $42.95 Reviewed by Johanna Shields, who is professor emerita of history at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and has written about the dark side of southern humor. The cover art and title to Andrew Silver's Minstrelsy and Murder are fair warning: this is a book about humor that will not let you smile. As Silver sees it, the late nineteenth century marked the end of a genial southern humor that obscured the injustices of class, gender, and race. Slowly, there emerged a dark new strain that revealed iniquity by juxtaposing comic and tragic images. Silver

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 13, 2008

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