The southern Agrarians were a group of twelve young men who joined, from 1929 to 1937, in an interesting intellectual and political movement. Prominent among them were Robert Penn Warren, Allen Tate, John Crowe Ransom, and Donald Davidson. In the course of the depression, these gifted writers tried, as did such a lot of other intellectuals, to plot the most productive cultural and economic choices open to southerners and Americans as a complete. That they failed to gain most in their goals does not diminish the significance in their crusade, or the enduring values that they espoused.
Interweaving group biography and intellectual history, Conkin traces how these young intellectuals came to put in writing their classic manifesto, I’ll Take My Stand, relates their political advocacy to the in advance Fugitive movement in poetry, and follows their careers after the Agrarian crusade fell apart. More than every other historian or critic, Conkin takes seriously the economic and political affairs of these southern writers.