Buy This Book!

Last Train to Dixie, a collection of essays by Jack Trotter, was published last year by Shotwell Publishing, a Southern press presided over by the grand panjandrum of Southern historiography, Clyde Wilson.  It is a varied collection, whose themes range across a broad spectrum:  Charleston's old families, a Southern book awards celebration, Zora Neale Hurston, and segregation.

None of these pieces belongs to that dreaded genre of late modern journalism, "the article," in which an ignorant and untalented writer swots up a subject to make himself an instant expert.  These are essays, readable, ironic, and far-ranging.  Many of them I read before they were published, because I was then the editor who accepted them.  A few others were written for our friends at the Abbevillle Institute.

I am shamefully late in drawing attention to this book.  It arrived at a time when I was about to undergo surgery and disappeared in a ton of mail and publications that got shunted off to my third floor eyrie.  When I saw Jack a few months ago in Charleston, I felt a twinge in remembering that something had come in from him but promptly forgot my promise to find a reviewer.  Straightening up one room of my study yesterday, what did I discover--buried under letters from Anthony Bukosky--was the still unopened envelope containing the book.  To compound my shame, I found that it was dedicated to Clyde Wilson, myself, and the late Aaron Wolf.

The book is available in paperback or for Kindle from Amazon:

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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

7 Responses

  1. Ken Rosenberger says:

    Jack’s always worth the read. I got this book soon after it came out. You can’t beat the price from Clyde Wilson & Paul Graham’s unreconstructed Shotwell Publishing.

    I think I read most of the pieces when you originally published them, Dr Fleming. Still, it’s always good to get the work of a fine writer (and a friend) compiled between 2 covers. Of course, I owe Jack a least a bourbon or two for introducing me to that tacky show Southern Charm, about the wastrel youth of old money in Charleston (all those Ravenels & Pinckneys), behaving horridly. Or maybe he owes me a couple bourbons…

  2. theAlabamian says:

    Advice taken, just ordered it via Kindle.

  3. Michael Strenk says:

    Got it last year. The more of Prof. Trotter’s work available the better. I very much enjoyed meeting and conversing with him at a function of the former institute years ago in Charleston. It is always a relief when the character of a person whose writing one admires exceeds one’s high expectations.

  4. William Shofner says:

    As a faithful subscriber of “Chronicles” for decades and a Southern man to the bone, I have read a host of Jack’s articles published in that fine magazine over the years and have always found them informative and well done. Now with Tom’s high praise of Jack’s most recent book (and sensing that Tom is not whistling Dixie here), I just ordered this work of collected essays. Thanks for the recommendation, Tom.

  5. Harry Colin says:

    My copy arrived late last night and I chose the essays about Zora Neale Thurston and “Books are for Blockheads.” Just those two alone make this purchase very worthwhile! I remember encountering them both originally in the magazine. Looking forward to enjoying the rest.

  6. Josh Doggrell says:

    I just ordered it as well. I have always found Mr. Trotter’s work to be superb.

  7. Allen Wilson says:

    My copy came in yesterday.