Driving Through a Changing South

Sep 29, 2017

Jonathan Daniels took a 10-state driving tour in 1937 to discover the South.
Credit Courtesy of Jennifer Ritterhouse

In the summer of 1937, Jonathan Daniels, the young, white, liberal-minded editor of the News & Observer, embarked on a driving tour of 10 Southern states. He documented the stories of the diverse people he encountered and hoped to change the national perception of the region.

In the new book “Discovering the South: One Man’s Travels through a Changing America in the 1930s” (The University of North Carolina Press/2017) history professor Jennifer Ritterhouse pieces together Jonathan Daniels’ encounters and intentions. She illuminates a society rife with tensions that still reverberate today.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Ritterhouse about the society Daniels encountered and how he himself was changed by the experience.

This segment originally aired on March 14, 2017.