The Night of the Old South Ball and Other Essays and Fables is the first collection of essays by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Edwin M. Yoder, Jr. These 88 perceptive and entertaining essays are drawn primarily from The Greensboro Daily News, The Washington Star, and The Washington Post, where they originally appeared.
Whether discussing Darwinism and the snail darter, defending Thomas Jefferson against charges of miscegenation, going on a “Gilbert and Sullivan toot,” or defining the quintessence of grits, Yoder evokes unexpected levels of meaning from ordinary events. A lifelong student of history and a southerner by heritage, he is deeply concerned with his native south and with the trend to mythologize or “Dixiefy” Dixie. He finds in the works of W.J. Cash and C. Vann Woodward touchstones “for defining (or refining) one’s regional imagination. Like a mineral trace they run in our blood….” (cover photo by David Rae Morris)