The South and its people have been subject to more than a double ration of misinformation and stereotypes despite the insistence or even obsession of southerners to tell about the South. A suitable corrective for these oversimplifications comes in the writings of John Shelton Reed. Reed, a University of North Carolina sociologist, manages an accurate, sympathetic, and amusing characterization of important southern "types." There's something for everyone here. This book, together with Florence King's SOUTHERN LADIES AND GENTLEMEN and some of Lewis Grizzard's works, gives a good introduction to Southern types. Of course a a warning is necessary: while Southerners, as Roy Blount, Jr. observed, like to act typical, they also take a sheer delight in being unpredictable just for the holy hell of it.
Reed knows his types: the Good Ole Boy, the Aristocrat, etc. These people the southern landscape and provide entertainment for each other. These are people who are apt to equate loving the Lord and SEC football, and favor Coke to Pepsi.
I suppose one could quibble about some types that he omitted, but this is a short and enjoyable book and well-worth the reading. Hell fire, podners: Professor John Shelton Reed is a wonderous writer who will bring you to a smile like good barbecue.