, Volume 52, Issue 6, pp 617–620 | Cite as

The Controversy Over Harper Lee’s New/Old Novel

A Commentary on Facts, Fiction, and Literary Ethnography
  • Peter I. Rose
Review Essay

In the late 1960s, I persuaded Lewis M. Killian, a Georgia-born, raised and educated sociologist and author of The Impossible Revolution? Black Power and the American Dream (Random House, 1968), to write a new book to be included in the Random House series, “Ethnic Groups in Comparative Perspective.” He agreed and, in 1970, White Southerners was published. In many ways it was a very personal study in which he characterized his subjects – his people—as both an ethnic group and quasi-minority.

For those who might have been surprised by his use of either of these labels, Killian pointed out their appropriateness. White Southerners, he argued, have all the traits social scientists associate with the word “ethnic.” They have a strong sense of identity based on a common history and, in many ways, an interdependence of fate. They share a common culture, which includes rules of conduct, values, and ideologies. They use a common language, often replete with its own dialect. They practice a...


Heroic Person Revealing Volume Callous Disregard Atticus Finch Revival Meeting 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NorthamptonUSA

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