William Edward Dodd rose from an impoverished background to become one of the early twentieth century's more distinguished southern historians. While many southern intellectuals of his time denied the existence of class conflict, Dodd made it his life's theme and was unique in using history as a means of criticizing the injustices of the class system. In William Edward Dodd: The South's Yeoman Scholar, Fred Arthur Bailey offers a much-needed biography that encompasses the full scope of Dodd's career from political activist to presidential confidant to American ambassador in Hitler's Germany. Dodd remained throughout his career not only a radical proponent of democracy but also a strident critic of those he marked as its enemies; he savaged southern aristocrats, northern industrialists, and German Nazis alike. This biography explores the development of William Edward Dodd's rebellious intellect and is the first to appreciate fully the context in which his views were formed. Dodd was a major figure in his discipline and a pioneer who insisted history and its interpretations did not belong merely to the elite.

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