OUR STATE; A GEOGRAPHICAL READER OF MISSISSIPPI. (Front cover title: "Our State, A Sixth Reader.")

Bolton, Willa.

Published by Richmond, VA et al: Johnson Publishing Company [B.F. Johnson Publishing Company], 1925.
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xii, 310 pages. Hardcover: H 19.25cm x L 13.75cm. No dust jacket (probably as issued). Olive colored cloth with dark green lettering, vignette illustration of tree shaded Beauvoir mansion at bottom of front board, rear board has square block "State Edition . . . " text at center. Boards soiled and rubbed, small discolored patch at front board's upper right, shallow cloth loss at frayed spine ends with slender surface losses at front joint ends, single strands of loose thread occur at both lower front and rear joints. Edges toned with shallow surface abrasion occurring at top edge and at heel of fore-edge; light toning to endpapers; ink ownership inscription at top of front pastedown with ink signature on front free endpaper; some soiling and toning/foxing to interior pages with scattered pencil marks and notes amongst text (including teacher annotations for beginning and ending lessons, emphasis points, etc.); impression from removed rusted paper clip at tops of pages 289-294 with short tearing to top margin of pages 291-292 where paper clip was actually affixed. Binding is firm. A good copy of a now uncommon book. With Preface, map illustrations, and Index and numerous b/w photos which show prosperous urban and industrial scenes as well as bucolic images of rural Mississippi prior to the economic ravages of the Great Depression. Reflecting a typical textbook format, questions for further study conclude each of the twenty-one chapters which are titled: "Biloxi;" "Coast Towns;" "Southern Crops for Northern Markets;" "Jefferson Davis and Beauvoir;" "Where Yellow Pine Has Been King;" "When the Pines Are Gone;" "Where the State Was Born;" "The Story of the Bluff Hills;" "The Richest Spot in the World;" "Holly Springs of Long Ago;" "The Plateau Section of Today;" "The Choctaws;" "The Eastern Gateway;" "The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek;" "The Chickasaws;" "The Black Prairie Belt;" "The Story of De Soto;" "Columbus, The Pioneer Town;" "Pontotoc Ridge and the Flatwoods;" "The Tennessee Hills;" "and "Some Interesting Facts in Conclusion." Although the author's roseate and simplistic treatment of the state's history is perhaps justified in regards to its intended middle school audience, the book’s qualities of narrow breadth, selective exclusion of fact, and biased presentation were intentionally designed to perversely influence impressionable nascent minds. For instance, the Mississippi Choctaw are rather romanticized whereas African Americans are virtually ignored. The book's significance lies in its role as a standard school text in Mississippi's public education system for the author's perspectives of South versus North, of "ours" versus "theirs," and of "us" versus "them," if taught without contradiction in a segregated environment, could only assist in instilling further state-sponsored seeds of separation and bigotry in yet another generation. OCLC cites copies held by only fifteen member libraries but, of course, school readers are not typical institutional acquisitions. Description copyright David Hallinan, Bookseller. Bookseller Inventory #

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Publisher: Richmond, VA et al: Johnson Publishing Company [B.F. Johnson Publishing Company], 1925.

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