church or on his card, he will abbreviatenhis degree as D.D. The earned graduatendegree in this field is Doctor ofnTheology. With a D.D. there were nonyears in graduate school, no lengthynthesis, no burning the midnight oil; justna healthy donation from his churchnbudget to some struggling little denominationalncollege.nStill, there are times when the honoraryndoctorate can be of use. Years ago Inwas teaching at a major universitynwhose president had only one academicndegree, a bachelor of shop education.nHe held his position by virtue of hisnrank of major general in the state nationalnguard and the fact that this institutionnwas heavily military in its undergraduatenemphasis. Nearby was a namenuniversity run by a fundamental Protestantnsect; its president likewise had nondoctorate, holding his position by virtuenof his orthodoxy. The faculty at eachninstitution was embarrassed at not beingnable to address the president as doctor,nso a swap was arranged between the twonschools. Each president would addressnthe other’s commencement, and eachnwould be awarded an honorary doctoratenof letters. Sad to relate, the presidentnof the school I was at, the major general,ngave his address without benefit of anwritten text. It was one of the lessnliterate efforts ever delivered at a commencementnceremony. But he returnednto our hallowed halls crowned with hisndoctorate, and the faculty was morencomfortable with him thereafter.nAnother university president of mynacquaintance — I’ll call him Smith —nhandled the matter with much betterntaste and wit. Ten years ago the regentsnof this medium-sized state universitynasked Smith to move from his positionnas head of the state’s Department ofnPublic Safety to the presidency of theninstitution. As an attorney he had anneamed juris doctorate degree, but thenfaculty did not feel that this was reallynan academic degree.nOne professor, referring to the jurisndoctorate, said to him at the first receptionnheld for him on campus, “I don’tnknow if I can call you Doctor Smith.”n”That’s all right,” the attomey respondednwith a smile. “Just call menPresident Smith.”nOdie Faulk is an emeritus professor ofnhistory at Northeastern StatenUniversity in Oklahoma.nLetter From thenLower Rightnby John Shelton ReednIn With the In-Crowd:nTalkin’ Trash, Spendin’ CashnA joke going around down here.asksnwhy Southern women don’t like groupnsex. The answer: too many thank-younnotes. You know of course that Inwouldn’t besmirch the pages of a familynmagazine with such smut if it didn’tnspeak directly to this month’s topic.n(No, not group sex. This isn’t thenPenthouse Forum, for crying out loud.)nI want to talk about regional differencesnin manners: in particular, I want tonlook at the market value of Southernngentility, and say a few words aboutnhow criticism is understood in thenSouth and elsewhere.nSouthern expatriates have alwaysntraded on the region’s stereotypicallyncourriy style, but the exchange value ofnthat currency probably peaked duringnthe Gilded Age. So I conclude at leastnfrom William Stadiem’s recentlynremaindered book, A Class By Themselves.nThat one of Stadiem’s earliernbooks was Marilyn Monroe Confidentialnmay suggest that he’s not really thenman to write the Southern Our Crowdnthat his subject calls for, but neverthelessnI’m in his debt for introducing mento a fascinating little creep namednWard McAllister, the self-styled “Autocratnof Drawing Rooms.”nMcAllister, from Savannah, becamenthe social arbiter of post-Civil WarnNew York despite — in fact, partly becausenof—remaining conspicuously anSouthern gentleman. McAllister didn’tndisguise his Southern origins; rather,nhe played them for all they were worth.nIn this, he was an eariy example of thensort of Southern expatriate for whomnthe advantages of being Southern outweighnthe disadvantages.nMcAllister’s afl^ection for his nativenregion didn’t extend to fighting for it.nHe prudendy sat out the Civil War innNewport and Delmonico’s, and hisnmemoir. Society as I Have Found It,nbarely mentions the war. (Readers ofnthe copy in my university’s library havennngraced his lengthy account of a wartimencostume party with rude commentsnin the margins.) But Stadiemnsays McAllister really did like thenSouth — indeed, that he was “enraptured”nby it—and suggests that thisnwas because “McAllister was inordinatelynfond of himself and all that henrepresented.”nBe that as it may, McAllister workednhard to establish a Southern presencenin New York high society. He enjoyednthe patronage of Mrs. Astor, whom hencalled his “Mystic Rose,” and his famousnlist was “The 400” because thatnwas the size of her ballroom. Southernersnwere on that list in good numbers,nand New Yorkers’ stereotypes helpednput some of them there. A presumptionnof gentility attached itself—stillndoes — to presentable Southerners,novercoming in some cases backgroundsnthat wouldn’t have withstood closenscrutiny. As observers from WilliamnFaulkner to Billy Carter have remarked,nYankees can be surprisinglyngullible where Southerners are concerned.nConsider, for example, McAllister’snfriend Richard T. Wilson. A formerntraveling salesman from Loudon, Tennessee,nWilson made a shady wartimenfortune selling purloined Confederatensupplies in Europe. But he was a tall,nhandsome man with elegant manners,nand McAllister presented him to NewnYork society with such success that hisndaughters married a Goelet millionaire,na Vanderbilt, and “Mungo” Herbert,nbrother of the Eari of Pembroke,nwhile his son married Carrie Astor,ndaughter of the Mystic Rose herselfnThe “marrying Wilsons” are annextreme case, but the point is thatnsome Southerners have done well bynacting the way Northerners expectnSouthern gentry to act. OrdinarynSouthern manners have made manynmiddle-class Southern girls and boysninto putative ladies and gentlemennonce they’ve left the South.nSometimes Southern gentry arenallowed to be impolite, too; a certainnhauteur is almost expected. Anothernstory, this one about the Englishnbranch of the Astors: Lady Astor (thenformer Nancy Langhorne of Charlottesville)ndisapproved of the fast setnaround King Edward VII. It’s said shenonce declined to play cards with him,nsaying she couldn’t tell the diff^erencenJUNE 1989/45n