From the late nineteenth century through World War II, popular
culture portrayed the American South as a region ensconced in its
antebellum past, draped in moonlight and magnolias, and represented
by such southern icons as the mammy, the belle, the chivalrous
planter, white-columned mansions, and even bolls of cotton. In
Dreaming of Dixie
, Karen Cox shows that the chief purveyors
of nostalgia for the Old South were outsiders of the region,
playing to consumers' anxiety about modernity by marketing the
South as a region still dedicated to America's pastoral traditions.
In addition, Cox examines how southerners themselves embraced the
imaginary romance of the region's past.