Combining established work with that of recent provocative scholarship on the antebellum South, this collection of essays puts students in touch with some of the central debates in this field. It includes excerpts from the work of Eugene Genovese and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, who lay out the influential interpretation of the South as a "paternalistic" society and culture, and contributions from more recent scholars who provide dissenting or alternative interpretations of the relations between masters and slaves and men and women. The essays draw on a wide range of disciplines, including economics, psychology and anthropology to investigate the nature of plantation and family life in the South. Explanatory notes guide the reader through each essay and the editor's introduction places the work in its historiographical context. Contributors include Eugene Genovese, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Sterling Stuckey, Robert William Fogel, Deborah Gray White and Joan E. Cashin.