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William Edward Dodd: The South's Yeoman Scholar, by Fred Arthur Bailey. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997. Bibliography. xiii, 254 pp. $42.50.
A PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AT ABILENE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY, Fred A. Bailey has written an interesting but flawed book about an interesting but flawed historian of the South. Bailey's thesis, set forth in the preface, is that Dodd was "a rarity among intellectuals, a man who rose from the inarticulate masses to voice their fundamental frustrations." Lashing out at what he perceived as the South's "oppressive class structure," Dodd cherished Jeffersonian idealism and labored to "infuse an egalitarian spirit into his native region" (p, ix).
Whether Dodd's modest agrarian background really was all that different from that of many of his professional peers, especially in the South, is …