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Daniels's Book and Journal

Written journalistically for an audience that was already familiar with the current events of the late 1930s, Jonathan Daniels's A Southerner Discovers the South (Macmillan, 1938) is both fascinating and frustrating for 21st-century readers.

Similarly, Daniels's notes from his travels can be cryptic, but their availability is crucial for identifying people he left anonymous in the book and for checking up on his other authorial choices.

Both handwritten and typed versions of Daniels's notes are preserved in the Jonathan Daniels Papers in the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The typescript, which includes Daniels's handwritten additions and changes, was prepared by his wife Lucy. As he explained to an interviewer, "every night I would get to the hotel and write that day, send it back to Lucy, who would type it up, and then when I got home I had these notes" (Columbia Oral History Project interview, transcript in Daniels papers). Daniels often used his notes almost verbatim, especially in the later chapters of his book, which he completed in less than six months.