Tom Landess

A true man of letters, Dr. Tom Landess (1931-2012) wrote (and ghostwrote) hundreds of books and articles, as well as poetry.  He was a student and friend of many of the Twelve Southerners and a brilliant storyteller.  He will be missed tremendously. 

Latest by Tom Landess in Chronicles

Results: 39 Articles found.
  • Another Reason Why the Agrarians Lost
    April 16, 2018

    Another Reason Why the Agrarians Lost

    Andrew Lytle’s “The Hind Tit” is the best essay in I’ll Take My Stand (1930), not only because it focuses on the small, independent farmer, the class the Agrarians most admired, but also because Lytle nails the volume’s primary thesis to the church door, the dilemma his region and nation faced in 1930—the choice between virtue and practicality.

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  • November 9, 2017

    Pietas and the Southern Agrarians

    Pietas—the ancient virtue of respect for family, country, and God—is becoming increasingly difficult to practice in a nation driven half mad by guilt. Our nation's past, once uncritically revered, is now uncritically condemned.

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  • The Genesis of Tourist Traps
    May 2013

    The Genesis of Tourist Traps

    According to the 1940 census, Framalopa County had a population of slightly over 8,000. About half of these lived in town, and the other half lived in the country: truck farmers and cattlemen who came to town on Saturdays to buy the few necessities they couldn’t raise themselves. At that time, Florida was the second-largest cattle-producing state in the nation.

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  • March 2013

    Granny and Jesus

    Granny had been brought up in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and went to church once every two or three years, usually on Mother’s Day, hoping my father would join her and learn to appreciate her innumerable virtues. He never went.

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  • Plane Crashes
    January 2013

    Plane Crashes

    Before World War II, airplanes were something of an oddity in the skies over Framalopa. We would stop and gaze at a Piper Cub chugging along through air, occasionally cutting its motor and gliding for a few seconds while we held our breath

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  • January 2013

    Sunday Dinner for the Boys

    Once the airbase was operational, the streets were overflowing with uniforms, particularly on weekends. Most, like Stella Pegram’s husband, Mark, were Army Air Corps.

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  • December 2012

    Myra Cunningham

    I don’t know how Myra Cunningham came into our lives. Perhaps my mother met her at the USO canteen, where women, married and single, volunteered to serve coffee and cookies to soldiers, talk to them, play bridge with them, and help them with letters back home.

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  • July 2012

    My Father's "B" Stick

    Congress passed a law mandating a national speed limit of 35 miles per hour, and the whole country slowed down to a crawl. To be sure, some people broke the law, but many more obeyed it—or came close to obeying it.

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  • Hollywood's War
    June 2012

    Hollywood's War

    Are we currently at war with militant Islam? Not in the same way we were with the Germans in World War I and the Japanese and Germans in World War II.

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  • April 2012

    The Celebration of War

    World War II surprised most Americans, who, in those days, paid less attention to the rest of the world than they do today. In our town, World War I was a dissolving memory, kept alive by the sale of paper poppies and the sight of a few leftover casualties who crept along Main Street, dragging a limp leg or nursing a curled arm. I knew only two.

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  • March 2012

    Ophelia and Genavy

    In one of those arrangements that defy explanation, Ophelia and my mother frequently ate lunch together. Usually—but not always—Ophelia would make the sandwiches or salad, serve my mother, and then fix an identical plate for herself.

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  • Cheerfully Unafraid
    January 2012

    Cheerfully Unafraid

    Last week, we received word that Marion Montgomery was dying. He had been diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of cancer only days earlier and had already fallen into the deep sleep that so often precedes death. By the weekend he was gone.

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  • Communities and Strangers
    December 2011

    Communities and Strangers

    According to many Christian theologians, Jesus, the moral Will of God, descended from a state of perfection to take on flesh and blood, with all the pain that goes with living and dying in time.

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  • Eddie Constable
    November 2011

    Eddie Constable

    In the 1940’s, towns like Framalopa were too small for chains like A&P and Piggly Wiggly. Consequently, the landscape was dotted with small neighborhood grocery stores, usually mom-and-pop operations with little merchandising and a spare inventory.

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  • Mrs. Pyle and the Japs
    September 2011

    Mrs. Pyle and the Japs

    The Pyles lived on the corner of Bahia Vista and Pomelo. Even on the sunniest day, you could barely see their one-story house, crouched in the dark shadows of three sprawling oaks hung with Spanish moss.

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  • One Civilian Casualty
    July 2011

    One Civilian Casualty

    In 1942, I had never met my Aunt Ann or my four first cousins. They’d moved in the 30’s from Jacksonville to Los Angeles, where Uncle Stuart worked for Walt Disney. Among other things, he provided the voice for the hunter in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

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  • May 2011

    Stella in our Garage Apartment

    During World War II, we rented our garage apartment to Army Air Corps officers and their wives. . . When the local newspaper published an appeal for citizens to rent rooms to servicemen and their families, my parents felt obligated to offer our unused servants’ quarters above the garage.

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  • March 2011

    A Game of Bridge on a Hot Afternoon

    In retrospect, I find it shocking that, during World War II, Americans submitted without resistance to a kind of government-imposed serfdom that transformed our habits and our hearts.

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  • January 2011

    A Linguistic Dilemma

    I taught college English for 24 years, and I still search newspapers and blogs for signs of the Beast, which, these days, attacks us mostly through language—errors of agreement, misplaced modifiers, and non sequiturs. That’s how you tear down a civilization.

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  • Texas Rebellion

    You must have noticed that the National Education Association, the New York Times, ABC, NBC, CBS, left-wing bloggers, and even the Dallas Morning News went ape in March over the outcome of textbook deliberations in Texas.

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Results: 39 Articles found.



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