Journey for Joedel (1970)

Although a movie was based on his The Ballad of the Flim-Flam Man, Guy Owen considered Journey for Joedel his best novel. For it, he won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The esteemed novelist Walker Percy described Journey for Joedel as “touching, tender, and highly readable.”


Tar Heels of The Past: Quotes and Corruption

Many times, nothing proves a point better than a good quote. Anything else—a paraphrase or an explanation—only dampens a literary passage’s verve or weakens an argument’s persuasiveness. So with brief contextual background, here are four quotes from North Carolinians regarding the importance of liberty and the imperative to defend it against corrupt government.


Burlington Dynamite Plot

The so-called Burlington dynamite plot refers to the attempted bombing of two Burlington textile mills and the legal battle that followed. Six Burlington workers were arrested and accused of plotting to dynamite the mills. Their trial became a media circus that attracted the attention of communists, college students, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.


Doughton, Robert L.

Robert L. Doughton (1863-1954) represented North Carolina’s ninth congressional district (centered in Alleghany and Ashe counties) from 1933 until 1953. Although he had a reputation as a fiscal conservative, Doughton was nonetheless an important ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal.


Brookings Plan

The Brookings Plan was a collection of reforms proposed by the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. think tank. Searching for economic solutions to the state’s financial problems, Governor O. Max Gardner commissioned the plan shortly after the onset of the Great Depression.


Reynolds, Robert Rice

Robert Rice Reynolds (1884-1963), popularly known as “Buncombe Bob,” represented North Carolina in the U.S. Senate from 1933 until 1945. The flamboyant Reynolds began his political career as a staunch New Dealer before turning to isolationism and extreme nationalism.


Barden, Graham A.

Graham Arthur Barden represented North Carolina’s Third Congressional District, which covered the Outer Banks and several coastal counties, from 1934 until 1960. His reaction to the New Deal was a typical North Carolinian one: initial support, giving way to deep suspicion.


Pelley, William Dudley

William Dudley Pelley (1885-1965) was a notorious American fascist who lived for a decade in Asheville, North Carolina. As leader of the Silver Shirts, Pelley preached a toxic brew of anti-Semitism, nationalism, and mysticism.


Royster, Vermont C.

Vermont Connecticut Royster (1914-1996) served as editor of the Wall Street Journal from 1958 until 1971. He helped make the Journal’s editorial page a forum for conservative thought. His Pulitzer Prize-winning editorials used folksy, plainspoken language to express his individualist philosophy.


Lance Incorporated

What started in 1913 as 500 pounds of unwanted Virginia peanuts has evolved into Lance Inc., with revenues steadily approaching one billion dollars. Phillip L. Lance, a Charlotte-based food distributor, ordered 500 pounds of peanuts directly from a planter with the intent to resale them to one of his customers. When Lance’s customer reneged on the peanut deal, Lance roasted the peanuts at his home and sold them on the streets of Charlotte for a nickel a bag instead of returning them to the planter. The home roasted peanuts quickly became popular among Charlotte residents, and Lance soon started producing peanut butter.