Southerners my age will remembernBrother Dave Gardner as the off-thewallnwhite Southern .comedian whongreeted the news of Brown v. Board ofnEducation by saying: “Let ’em go tonschool, beloved. We went, and wendidn’t learn nothin’.” Grand Ole Oprynfans and candy lovers will know GoonGoo Clusters. Hammond was the politician,nlibertine, and proslavery theoristnwho announced that cotton was kingnand no one would dare make war onnit—a slight miscalculation. Grits I presumenyou know about, and gays, too:nSoutherners tend to love one, but notnthe other.nThis is mostly good reading, andngood fun. There are the makings of anfine board game here. The encyclopedianhas a problem, though, and it’s onenthat, in its own little way, reflects anbroader problem for the South, and thennation. The editors — I’m sure withnthe best of liberal intentions — have setnaside separate sections on “Black Life”nand “Women’s Life.” (There are, ofncourse, no sections on “White Life” orn”Men’s Life.”) The result is shabbyntreatment of some Southern blacks andnwomen who deserve better (and maybenbetter treatment for others than theyndeserve). Whites who fought segregation,nor defended it, for example, arentreated under “Law” or “Politics” orn”Violence”; most blacks who fought itnare consigned to the ghetto of “BlacknLife.”nOffensive this Jim Grow organizationnmay be, but at least it isn’t followednconsistendy. Jean Toomer is undern”Black Life,” but Ralph Ellison, thankngoodness, is found under “Literature.”nJulia Peterkin is in “Women’s Life,”nbut Flannery O’Connor is in “Literature”nwith the real writers, where shenbelongs. The principle of organizationneludes me. Could it be that the “BlacknLife” and “Women’s Life” sectionsnare just reservations for the secondrate?nNo, here is Loretta Lynn inn”Women’s Life”: surely she belongs inn”Music” every bit as much as CharlienDaniels. Does black trump female?nNo, writer Margaret Walker is inn”Black Life,” but Maggie Lena Walker,nfounder of the oldest black bank innthe US, winds up in “Women’s Life.”n{Alice Walker is inexplicably in “Literature.”)nI give up. All I can suggest is thatnliberal piety now requires that booksn42/CHRONICLESnhave sections explicitly devoted tonblacks and women. For my part, I don’tnthink it’s worth a klutzy organizationalnscheme that makes it impossible tonpredict where a particular entry will benfound. (To be sure, the book has annindex, but flipping back and forthnthrough 1,600 pages is no fun.) Anstraightforward A-to-Z listing wouldnhave been preferred.nWhatever my misgivings about itsnflagrant tokenism, though, I think thenbook is a major achievement. Havingnsaid that (and with the examples ofnSoutherners like Jim Wright and NewtnGingrich before me), I should probablyndeclare an interest. I wrote a couplenof the entries, and I was supposed tonline up contributors for the “Recreation”nsection. However, one of theneditors, Charles Wilson (known tonsome of us as “the Diderot of Dixie”),nwound up doing much of that work —nand not just for me. Eventually, Wilsonnhad to write 70 of the entriesnhimself and he is now an authority onnsome of the strangest things. Tying upnthose loose ends took a while: Wilsonnjokes that the encyclopedia paints ancomprehensive portrait of Southernnculture as of 1985.nAnyway, since I didn’t do much, andnI got my little share of your tax dollarsnup front, I see no real conflict ofninterest in my plugging this book. Besides,nif I don’t do it, who will? Almostneveryone who has written aboutnSouthern culture at all contributed tonit. From Chronicles’ masthead alone,nThomas Fleming and Clyde Wilsonnwrote on the classical tradition and onnJohn Taylor of Caroline, respectively.nOne of the most interesting thingsnabout this book is that it shows signs ofnbecoming a cultural event in its ownnright. Its publication was widely noted,nbut the most affecting notice I rannacross was when I heard co-editor BillnFerris on a Chariotte radio call-in talknshow. Ferris would talk awhile aboutnsome entry from the encyclopedia;nthen the phone lines would light upnlike a Christmas tree as listeners fromnall over the South called in to say “Yes!nThat’s the way we used to do it!” or “Inremember when my daddy. …”nI couldn’t help noticing the elegiacntone of many of these testimonials, ansense of old ways slipping away. One ofnmy friends suggests that the encyclopedianitself is the equivalent for the Southnnnof reviewing one’s life in the course ofndrowning — drowning, he adds, in thenmainstream. Another friend sees it asna product of what he calls the Post-nMortem South, a region that existsnmostly in and on nostalgia. But both ofnthese pessimists are professional historians,nand so are most of the contributorsnto this encyclopedia; especially givennthat fact, I’m struck by how many ofnthe regional icons and attributes itntreats are of quite recent provenance.nIf you’ll forgive a homely simile, thenSouth strikes me as like an old pair ofnblue jeans. It’s shrunk a litfle bit, fadednsome; it has a few holes in it. There’snalways the possibility that it will split atnthe seams. But it’s more comfortablenthan it used to be, and I think there’snstill a lot of wear in it. Consult. this:nremarkable book and see if you, don’tnagree.nJohn Shelton Reed writes from ChapelnHill, North Carolina, where henteaches at the University of NorthnCarolina.nLetter From thenHeartlandnby Jane Greern’Zip to Zap”nThe first “Zip to Zap,” or “Zap-In,”nmade headlines around the world, innplaces as different as Pakistan and Russia,nto say nothing of Washington andnMiami. It was 1969,= with civil rightsandnanti-Vietnam marches, US forcesnin Southeast Asia at an all-time high,nand, the year before, Bobby Kennedy’snassassination and the Democratic Conventionnin Chicago.nBut the “Zip to Zap” as conceivednwas about as political as beer. Many ofnthe kids were simply tired from a weeknof sandbagging the floodwaters of thenRed River of the North — surely notnan anarchic pastime—and needed tonblow off some steam.nThe January before the first “Zap-nIn,” the staff of the North Dakota StatenUniversity newspaper, the Spectrum,nhad talked wistfully about going to Ft.nLauderdale, Florida, over spring break.nOne of the staffers moaned that hen