the Southern exposition of the Agrariannlegacy Tracts Against Communism.nThe political pattern is as old as Abrahamnand as timely as Solidarity innPoland, the mujahideen of Afghanistan,nand a variety of other Easternnethnics — Armenians, Lithuanians,nEstonians, and others—who are testingnSoviet ^/dsnosf with tentative assertionsnof folk identity and religious liberty.nIn this way, Tate and Lytle’s view ofnthe “War of Northern Aggression”nagainst Confederate freedom fightersnprovides the American model for thendefense of liberty. And in the Southernnexercise in folk rebellion, Lytle andnTate recognize a potent catalyst fornboth the essence and legacy of indigenousnbut exportable American freedom.nThe renascence of ethnic and religiousnzeal in Eastern Europe, givennspiritual sanction by the CatholicnChurch, provides a pattern that Tatenand Lytle envisioned in 1930 in theirnown understanding of the Southernnpolitical ethos. Yet there is one importantndifference in contemporary people’snrevolts of Eastern Europe: whilenthe icons of the Virgin Mary and thenpope provide inspiration to membersnof Solidarity, the Southern Agrariannexperience was, at best, Protestantinspired.nFrom Tate’s earliest participationnin the Agrarian campaign of then1930’s, he was aware of the absence ofnreligious cohesion in the South, and he ,nreflected on this matter over the years.nIn a remarkable letter written to Lytlenin 1954, Tate observes, “in retrospectnupon our early days, we made of thenSouth, and especially the Old South,nan object of idolatry, in the strict sensenof the word: we were worshiping an’perishable god.’ I have come to thenview that no society is worth ‘saving’ asnsuch: what we must save is the truth ofnGod and Man, and the right societynfollows. We thought that the South wasnan historical problem: it was actually antheological problem.”nThe original activist Agrarian rebukenof statism deepened over thenyears into a larger critique of pervasivencultural materialism of Western societiesnand an attendant spiritual exhaustion.nIn Lytle’s Southerners and Europeans:nEssays in a Time of Disorder,nthe reference to disorder emphasizesnLytle’s gradual shift from Agrariannactivism to theological reflection andnanalysis. This transition can be tracednto the difficult research and writing ofnAt the Moon’s Inn (1941) to which henalludes in “The Subject of SouthernnFiction.”nLytle’s most ambitious novel is ThenVelvet Horn (1957). In “The WorkingnNovelist and the Mythmaking Process,”none of the most revealing essaysnever written by a novelist on the naturenof fiction, Lytle reveals how he, as then”working novelist,” discovers thenmythical meaning of Southern history.nAfter some years of working on thennovel Lytle discovered to his surprisenthat he was not treating directly thenhistorical post-Civil War Tennessee,nbut that he was tracing a myth from thenBook of Genesis. It was, he writes, “annaspect of an ‘ancient drama'” — “thenstate Adam and Eve found themselvesnin after Eve had been taken fromnAdam’s side.”nIt is unfortunate that the LSU volumendoes not include such essays asn”The Search for Order in AmericannSociety: The Southern Response” andn”A groundbreaking and timely investigation ofnan economic concept once central to Americannsocial thought. For anyone who has wonderednwhy the family is now under such flnancialnpressure, this book will answer a host ofnquestions.”n- Robert Nisbetn”A Habitable Garden.” The VelvetnHorn belongs with the canonical booksnof American literature—with HuckleberrynFinn, Moby Dick, The ScarletnLetter, and Go Down Moses. It alsondemonstrates the full development ofnwhat Lewis Simpson, in the introductionnto Lytle’s collected essays, calls thenTennesseean’s “moral vision” thatn”has always embraced European andnAmerican writers as necessarilynconstituting one community.” Lytle’snreadings of Caroline Gordon, RobertnPenn Warren, and Faulkner are presentedntogether with an equally penetratingnelucidation of Tolstoy, Flaubert,nJoyce, and Ford Madox Ford. As eadynas 1959 Tate recognized Lytle’s criticalngifts and remarked in a letter, “younhave defined the orbit for fiction in thenfuture.”nBenjamin B. Alexander is an assistantnprofessor of English and religiousnstudies at Hillsdale College innMichigan, and lecturer in English atnCatholic University of America.nThe Family Wage: Work, Gender, and Children in ThenModern Economy A fascinating collection of essays thatnwill help Americans better understand the current economicnchallenges to family life. Send for your copy today!nDYES, please send men. copies of The FamilynWage: Work, Gender, and Children in the ModernnEconomy at $11.50 each (postage and handling included).nNamenAddressnCitynStaten.Zip.nSend this coupon and your check made out to The Rockford Institute to:nThe Rockford Institute, 934 N. Main St., Rockford, IL 61103nnnFEBRUARY 1989/35n