Several years ago, I set the goal of using the summer months to read either canonical southern literature or a new area of history outside of the Early Republic period. Between research projects and major life changes, I haven’t done a great job of achieving my objective, but I’ve tackled William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, and Eudora Welty, as well as conspiracy theories and colonial America.
This summer, I’m determined to focus on two sets of writings: some of Robert Penn Warren’s major works and the history of American fundamentalist Christianity. I started Warren’s All the King’s Men once but never finished it. David Blight’s American Oracle, which focuses in part on Warren’s Civil War writings, reminded me that I needed to revisit the Fugitive’s work. As for Christian fundamentalism, I’ve become more interested recently in understanding my religious roots. So, I’ve got Randall Balmer’s Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, Randall Stephens and Karl Giberson’s’ The Anointed, and Andrew Himes’ The Sword of the Lord in my to-read stack.