John Bayley

Doing the Charleston

A Turn in the South

By V S Naipaul

Viking 207pp £4.95 order from our bookshop

There can be few people who enjoy dreaming about history who have not remembered Gone with the Wind and Stonewall Jackson and imagined the Southerners winning the war. There is even a book (written by a Yankee of course) entitled If the South had Won, and musing with sentimental fondness on Lincoln’s honourable captivity after Mosby’s troopers had kidnapped him from Washington, and General Lee’s masterly encirclement of the Union army at Gettysburg. It ends with North and South agreeing to join up again after both have fought for the allies in the Great War.

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University of Chicago Press

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