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Est. April 5, 2002
December 10, 2015 - Issue 633

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The Library of Evil
The University of Missouri Press


By Ed Sebesta

"The neo-Confederate movement includes
a great many academics, writers, journalists,
and persons in various institutions. I have
sixteen books by neo-Confederates published
by the University of Missouri Press in my library."

I jokingly call it the library of evil, my research library regarding the neo-Confederate movement. I keep it on the second floor of my house with a dozen or more overflowing book shelfs reaching to the ceiling filling all the rooms and hallways with books, magazines, and pamphlets related to my research. I don’t want to have to explain to every visitor why I have such a collection of books and materials so they are kept out of the downstairs library.

Though upon reflection it really is a library of evil, a library of a particular type of neo-reactionary writing, neo-Confederate and allied materials, advocating a world of subordination to a white reactionary Conservative patriarchy where everyone is given a place in a hierarchical society. A library of those in a bitter rage that this hierarchy continues to break down. It starts in the 19th century and goes into the 21st century.

I need to have this material to research the neo-Confederate movement, to study it, understand it and expose it. Also, members of this movement often deny or obscure their past record and nothing is more satisfying then pulling their writings of the shelf and quoting it for the press, the public, exposing who they really are. Purchasing this material is a necessity to defeating this movement.

I have my entire collection of books, videos, audios, etc. indexed in an Access database. As I collect, compile, and index my research materials I see where neo-Confederates are located in institutions, political and cultural organizations, and what venues they have to get their writings published.

The neo-Confederate movement includes a great many academics, writers, journalists, and persons in various institutions. They get published not just by fringe presses but by academic journals and presses. I notice that certain university presses tend to show up frequently in my collection.

Two university presses which show up very frequently are the University of Missouri Press and Transaction Press at Rutgers University. I have sixteen books by neo-Confederates published by the University of Missouri Press in my library.

Likely without the University of Missouri these individuals would be relegated to small right wing presses or not get published at all. At the University of Missouri the neo-Confederates had a publisher giving them the credibility of a university press. There wasn’t just a small group of individuals involved with the press enabling the neo-Confederates, there was also an environment at the University of Missouri which wasn’t concerned that the University of Missouri Press was becoming a significant publisher of neo-Confederates and racists.

There are many ways to craft a racist America without wearing funny clothes, being belligerent, or using racial slurs.


From my library






Whistling Dixie: Dispatches from the South

John Shelton Reed



Against the Barbarians

M.E. Bradford



Surveying the South

John Shelton Reed



My Tears Spoiled My Aim and other Reflections on Southern Culture.

John Shelton Reed



Beautiful Losers

Samuel Francis



Kicking Back: Further Dispatches from the South

John Shelton Reed



The Southern Front: History and Politics in the Culture War

Eugene Genovese



A Defender of Southern Conservatism: M.E. Bradford and His Achievements

Clyde N. Wilson, Ed.



Jefferson Davis: Unconquerable Heart

Felicity Allen



The Confederate Constitution of 1861: An Inquiry into American Constitutionalism

Marshall L. DeRosa



Where No Flag Flies: Donald Davidson and the Southern Resistance

Mark Royden Winchell



Calhoun and Popular Rule

H. Lee Cheek



Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guild: Toward a Secular Theocracy

Paul Gottfried



Minding the South

John Shelton Reed



The Morality of Everyday Life: Rediscovering an Ancient Alternative to the Liberal Tradition

Thomas Fleming



Superfluous Southerners: Cultural Conservatism in the South, 1920-1990

John J. Langdale III


Some of these books are still for sale from the press.

John Sheton Reed’s books are his construction of an illiberal South. He was a founding writer for the neo-Confederate Southern Partisan magazine and wrote for it for several years both under his own name and the pseudonym J.R. Vanover.

He also wrote for Chronicles magazine, is the publication of the Rockford Institute in Rockford, Illinois and a journal of hysteria about immigrants, Muslims, racial minorities, LGBT, Obama, and the future in general.

Under the name Vanover in his article “SOS Stamp Out Southeastern” in Southern Partisan, [V6 N1, Winter 1986, pp. 17] you can see where the journal Southern Cultures, which he founded and was co-editor of for many years, got its name.

The most insane and thus most memorable writing of Reed was in a book “A Band of Prophets: The Vanderbilt Agrarians after Fifty Years,” [Louisiana State Univ. P, 1982] in which he compares the racist Southern Agrarians to Kenyatta, Ataturk, Ho Chi Min and Gandhi and expresses his belief that the South is a nation.

In Chronicles magazine Reed was up front with his homophobia, but not so direct with his racist attitudes.

Reed reviews the notoriously racist “The Camp of the Saints” in the July 1994 issue of Chronicles” page 49-50. John Shelton Reed snidely states that Raspail’s novel is “offensive to received collegiate opinion,” the comment generating a sense that educated elites may find this offensive, suggesting others would not, that criticism of the novel as being racist is that of some ultra opinion of some group of intellectual elites.

There is Reed’s defense of Bob Jones University in the May 1986 Chronicles, page 50-51, Reed writes,

Bob Jones University. Isn’t that the segregationist place down in South Carolina someplace?

Well, yes and no; or rather, no and yes. BJU is in Greenville, South Carolina. And it did lose its tax exemption not long ago because its administration – which means the Reverend Dr. Bob Jones Jr., son of the founder – forbids interracial dating on what it/he believes to be biblical grounds. But if Bob Jones is racist, in the strict sense of that much-misused word, it is hardly segregationist: it has a number of black students, and yellow ones and probably red ones, too. In an odd way, Bob Jones is a very cosmopolitan place.”

The rest of the article portrays the university being a wonderful place and concludes, “I don’t think they have the answer. But they’re not the problem.”

Notice the “if”, one wonders what would Reed’s definition of certain racism be and when would racism be a problem in his judgment. Note the comment about “red ones”, ha ha ha Mr. Reed, oh how very clever.

Reed was essentially the dean of the field for Southern Studies for many years and Southern Cultures to this day hasn’t dealt with the issue of Reed’s agenda being the basis of their origin.

Southern Cultures at the Univ. of North Carolina and his series of books are his Southern nationalist efforts.

M.E. Bradford was a professor of English at the University of Dallas which to this day has an annual debate named in his honor. He was a campaign director for both George Wallace presidential campaigns in Texas. He was one of the critically important founders of the modern neo-Confederate movement being a founding writer of Southern Partisan and latter a senior editor of the magazine. He also contributed to Chronicles magazine. He at one time was the National Historian for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

In the Southern Partisan M.E. Bradford memorial issue, T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr., then President of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, describes how and when he met him.

“… and almost exactly twenty years ago met him in person at a meeting of the North Carolina Conservative Society. I walked into a room where the sponsors where showing the silent film classic “Birth of a Nation,” a pro-Southern rendering of events surrounding the War Between the States. There in the darkened hall, with scores of college at his feet, sat Mel Bradford – reading aloud each caption as it flashed across the screen, and with no small gusto.” [Vol. 12 4th Qtr. 1992, pp. 8]

His entire life was devoted to attacking equality and advocating that the natural order of things is a white propertied Christian patriarchy where everyone will be given their place. He was the enemy of civil rights. Yet, the Univ. of Missouri published a book lauding him as a great cultural hero.

Samuel Francis wrote for the Southern Partisan and was prominently involved in white supremacist organizations such as the Council of Conservative Citizens and American Renaissance magazine. He also wrote for Chronicles magazine.

Eugene Genovese was a frequent writer for Southern Partisan magazine and was an apologist of neo-Confederate ideology and his writings in regards to pro-slavery theologians often amounted to a defense of them. He also was a writer for Chronicles magazine.

Clyde N. Wilson was a founding writer for Southern Partisan and longtime contributor. He contributed to Chronicles magazine. He was a founding board member of the League of the South. He is a leading neo-Confederate and is a leader in the Abbeville Institute.

Felicity Allen is the author of “Jefferson Davis: Unconquerable Heart.” The University of Missouri actually published this gushing title. Some editor at Missouri was really gone with the wind.

Marshal DeRosa is another member of the Abbeville Institute. Previously he was active in the League of the South. He was a contributor to Chronicles magazine and Southern Partisan.

Mark Royden Winchell was a contributor to Southern Partisan and Chronicles magazine and was a member of the League of the South.

H. Lee Cheek was a member of the League of the South and is currently a member of the Abbeville Institute.

Paul H. Gottfried is a frequent contributor to Chronicles magazine. He is a contributor to the neo-Confederate books of the Ludwig von Mises Institute published at Transaction Press at Rutgers. He is a contributor to the website He was at a Council of Conservative Citizens conference in 1999. He was a contributor to Southern Partisan and American Renaissance.

Paul Gottfried’s recent 11/5/2015 book review, “Secession is Our Only Hope,” is about Michael H. Hart’s book “Restoring America,” which advocates breaking up the United States.

It is not very surprising that he would be very upset by multiculturalism, but why any university press editor would agree to publish his writing on the topic is astounding and appalling.

Thomas Fleming was editor for 30 plus years for Chronicles magazine. He originated the idea of the League of the South and was instrumental in its founding, originally named the Southern League based on the Northern League in Italy. He founded the Southern Partisan magazine, but left it shortly thereafter.

In reviewing the table of books omitting the last row it might be argued that this is all in the University of Missouri Press’s past. However, there is the entry for John J. Langdale III. He is a member of the Abbeville Institute. The entry is for 2012. The book locates reactionary racists in a gauzy golden haze. In browsing through it I see that it offers the usual rationalizations exonerating the Southern Agrarians involvement in the 1930s fascist publication American Review publication of the 1930s.

The Fascism of the American Review was very evident from the beginning. For example, the unattributed editorial from 1933 (although the editor of the issue was Seward Collins), "Editorial Notes: The Revival of Monarchy" [The American Review, Vol.1 No. 2 (1933): 247-248] which argued that Hitler's rise to power ended "the Communist threat forever" and that the persecution of Jews "if . . .true" was a "negligible" aspect of the Nazi regime.

It might be thought that someone might have raised questions at the University of Missouri about the press. However, my experience is that these things get a free pass in academia. Even if a scholar did raise the issue he would likely receive a torrent of abuse and excuses, which was my experience.

In 2012 there was a plan to shut down the University of Missouri Press by then University of Missouri president Timothy Wolfe. An appeal went out for support of the press including the C19 academic Listserv of which I am a member.

I replied to the listserv appeal:

When the University of Missouri Press closes there will be one less university press publisher of neo-Confederate books in existence.

I look forward to hearing it has closed.”

I am sure that in academic circles it was known what the University of Missouri Press was. This idea that it was automatically worth saving regardless of its agenda I rejected with my reply. I wasn’t going to give it a helping hand and hoped others wouldn’t.

This lead to all sorts of attacks on me.

Harold K. Bush, professor of English at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri who had sent out the appeal replied snarkily, “C’mon, don’t hold back tell us what you really think” and characterized my posting as “vitriol” after assuring the listserv that he was against the Lost Cause also.

It was seconded by Lucinda Damon-Bach, professor of English at Salem State University.

There was a longer attack by Ned Stuckey-French at Florida State University in reply focused on belittling me with phrases like “after a quick anti-racist posture.”

There were people who came to my support also.

However, I think I might have been successful in my effort. The University of Missouri Press was re-organized and I haven’t seen any new books in the genre after “Superfluous Southerners.” Though there might be a work in progress. There was eight years between Thomas Fleming’s book and John J. Langdale’s book. I wouldn’t be so sure that even with recent events it couldn’t happen. Who would know and even if they did know would they raise the issue or even care? Maybe things are just on pause.

So when the recent events at the University of Missouri happened, I wasn’t surprised. There was some type of climate there, such that of all the university presses in the United States to choose from, the focus of neo-Confederate publishing came to reside there. Guest Commentator, Ed Sebesta is an independent researcher. Co-editor of Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction and The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The ‘Great Truth’ About the ‘Lost Cause’. Author of chapter about the Civil War and Reconstruction in the notorious Texas teaching standards in Politics and the History Curriculum: The Struggle over Standards in Texas and the Nation. Click here to contact Mr. Sebesta.

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