The Southerner As American, 1855-1918
The varied career of Walter Hines Page affected many facets of the American political and social milieu from the end of Reconstruction through World War I. A North Carolinian, Page was one of the first southerners after Reconstruction to argue that sectional hostility was needless, and he constantly worked to restore national union and frequently acted as an interpreter for the North and the South. As a journalist, publisher, reformer, president-maker, and ambassador, he strove to assure both North and South that the southerner was basically an American, that southern problems were national ones, and that education and hard work could recreate the Union.
As a young man, Page found the South too stifling to give scope to his ambitions. He left it for good at the age of twenty-nine to make a brilliant career as editor and book publisher in the North. He served as editor of Forum, Atlantic Monthly, and World's Work. Later he founded the publishing firm Doubleday, Page & Company. As a magazine editor he wrote about the problems of the South; as a book publisher he introduced many southern writers to the nation; as a member of several of the most powerful philanthropic boards he sought funds to improve education and public health in the South. As a result of his early support of Woodrow Wilson for the presidency, Page was appointed ambassador to the Court of St. James's from which he fervently advocated the Allied cause.
Throughly researching both American and British government documents and private papers, and using interviews with Page's contemporaries, Cooper reinterprets and establishes the significance of Page's career.
Originally published in 1977.
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