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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling travel writer Richard Grant “sensitively probes the complex and troubled history of the oldest city on the Mississippi River through the eyes of a cast of eccentric and unexpected characters” (Newsweek).

Natchez, Mississippi, once had more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in America, and its wealth was built on slavery and cotton. Today it has the greatest concentration of antebellum mansions in the South, and a culture full of unexpected contradictions. Prominent White families dress up in hoopskirts and Confederate uniforms for ritual celebrations of the Old South, yet Natchez is also progressive enough to elect a gay Black man for mayor with 91 percent of the vote.

Much as John Berendt did for Savannah in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and the hit podcast S-Town did for Woodstock, Alabama, so Richard Grant does for Natchez in The Deepest South of All. With humor and insight, he depicts a strange, eccentric town with an unforgettable cast of characters. There’s Buzz Harper, a six-foot-five gay antique dealer famous for swanning around in a mink coat with a uniformed manservant and a very short German bodybuilder. There’s Ginger Hyland, “The Lioness", who owns 500 antique eyewash cups and decorates 168 Christmas trees with her jewelry collection. And there’s Nellie Jackson, a Cadillac-driving brothel madam who became an FBI informant about the KKK before being burned alive by one of her customers. Interwoven through these stories is the more somber and largely forgotten account of Abd al Rahman Ibrahima, a West African prince who was enslaved in Natchez and became a cause célèbre in the 1820s, eventually gaining his freedom and returning to Africa.

With an “easygoing manner” (Geoff Dyer, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Otherwise Known as the Human Condition), this book offers a gripping portrait of a complex American place, as it struggles to break free from the past and confront the legacy of slavery.

©2020 Richard Grant. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Deepest South of All

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Condescending and Carcinogenic

I do not so much mind an Englishman's fascination with the caste system in an antebellum town on the Mississippi River, a town where my mother, grandparents and great-grandparents are buried. But, the author doesn't really reveal much more than you can get from the much better written and intriguing Midnight in the Garden and Evil.

Here, the author would expect the readers to believe that the men in Natchez are largely effeminate nancies and the women are vapid buzzsaws who pushed the men to lie with other men.

Worse, the narrator's detestation of the characters and content oozes from every mock conversation recounted.

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

A book that awakens your sleeping senses and notions. Richard Grant is an unapologetic observer and reporter who, as non judgmental friend, researches and spreads the story before us. If you’re looking for links from the Southern past to present, it’s here.

3 people found this helpful

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Natchez Deep Dive

I am a big fan of this author’s work and enjoy learning about strange and foreign lands like the Southiest of Southern States - Mississippi.

This book is an enlightening portrait of an iconic and eccentric town juggling the past and present. Somehow, Grant weaves together Garden Club Gossip, school board meetings and Slavery into a worthwhile read and one with some surprising perspectives on Social Justice and discrimation.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed’Dispatches from Pluto’, and/or have an interest in learning more about the Characters, customs, and lifestyle of
the Deep South.

Great Work, Dick!
Keep em comin buddy!

3 people found this helpful

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I HATE THIS BOOK

It is & insult to my enslaved ancestors. White people & their entitlement. I cannot in good conscience recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Not his best

Took me about 4 months to get through this. Seemed to drone on and on
Cute at first, but not wort the time.

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True, Enlightening, Enjoyable

This listen was so worth it! Grant captures the Old South’s lore, allure, and prescience beautifully. The parallel story of Ibrahima is fascinating. I highly recommend!

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Keep on studying the South

I grew up in the Delta but the historical slant really made this book more pertinent given the current state of affairs in our country. Excellent!

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Wonderful book

Superbly written and skillfully read. This book captures the essence of the South like no other.

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Reader is inaudibly “British”, reading a book on the Deep South—really?

Was really looking forward to this—five minutes in to it, I had to turn it off. I couldn’t understand the reader. Moreover, his British accent certainly was incongruent with a story about the Deep South. Returning this book—I’ll read it on Kindle.

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Half Hilarious, Half Gut Wrenching

I really enjoyed the fabulous current-day Natchez gossip and insights, but the horrible stories of slavery and later atrocities were beyond sad. The Englishman narrating used the most outrageous Southern accents I may have ever heard. They kept me laughing even when I don’t think they were supposed to.