Pete Candler
A virtual road trip through the landscape of memory in the American South.
Episode Four: Greenville
In this episode of our road trip through the landscape of memory in the American South, we stumble into Greenville, Mississippi, a town with a surprisingly rich past and a unique relationship with the Mississippi River. We will explore the impact of the devastating 1927 flood, how it shaped American culture, and how it occasioned in the Percy family an internecine conflict of Shakespearean magnitude. We will look at the impact of the flood and of Southern aristocratic stoicism on Will Percy, who both upheld and defied societal norms in the region, and became a godfather to a generation of Southern writers, including his cousin Walker. This one has it all: pathos, drama, virtue, vice, and gambling. Welcome to “The Detourist.”[0:00] Introduction and Journey Begins[1:03] They Said It’d be Daft to Build a Town on the Mississippi River[2:21] Dead Mules in the Foyer: The Great Flood of 1927[4:55] Tumblin’ Dice on the Other Side of the Levee[5:44] Greenville, Fiefdom of the Cotton Kingdom[6:56] The Percys of Greenville[8:27] LeRoy Percy: Doomed Flight of the Silver Eagle[10:21] “The Rout of the Aristocrats: The Percys and the Bilbos”[15:14] Will Percy: Episcopalian Melancholic[19:27] An Unlikely “Center of Cultural Dissent”[26:14] High and Dry on the Levee[35:06] The Mississippi Delta is America Get full access to The DETOURIST at
Jan 17
37 min
Episode Three: Glen Allan
Our road trip through the Mississippi Delta continues north from Vicksburg, into the little hamlet of Glen Allan. In this episode, we dive into the legacy of Stark Young, a forgotten but not inconsequential figure in Mississippi literature. Discover what Stark Young’s work has to do with the ruins of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Glen Allan. Get ready for a thought-provoking journey through history and culture in the Mississippi Delta. Welcome to THE DETOURIST.[0:00] Only Faulkner Survives[3:21] Stark Takes a Stand[8:01] What Do You Mean “We,” White Man?[13:59] Mississippi Coventry: Glen Allan[20:55] Breaking the Spell of Southern Sentimentalism[28:07] The Heights of the Mississippi Bottoms Get full access to The DETOURIST at
Dec 7, 2023
29 min
Episode Two: Phantom River
“Vicksburg, Mississippi, used to be a riverfront town, but it’s not anymore.”One of the Mississippi River’s most prominent nineteenth century steamboat hubs was by the middle of the twentieth a shadow of its former self. Learn how a massive flood altered the city’s fortunes and gave us one of the most extraordinary map series of the century, and how modern technology is adding a new dimension to those old maps. We will also learn about oxbow lakes, bodies of water orphaned by the ever-shifting river, and how some historical events, like the Vicksburg massacre, become like ‘oxbow lakes’ of history, removed from the main thoroughfare of American memory.[00:00] The Historical Significance of Vicksburg[01:41] A Riverfront Town No More[04:05 Every river has a story[05:00 Where Would You Like Me to Put this River, Sir?[06:13] God Said, “Out on Highway 61”[07:44] Harold Fisk and the Mississippi River Commission[10:33] Oxbow Lakes & The Interstate of American MemorySubscribe to the DETOURIST: Order my photography collection, THE ROAD TO UNFORGETTING: Detours in the American South 1997 - 2022 (Horse & Buggy Press 2022)Pre-order my forthcoming book, A DEEPER SOUTH: The Beauty, Mystery and Sorrow of the Southern Road (University of South Carolina Press 2024)About the Show:You've been listening to THE DETOURIST, which belongs to the ecosystem of A DEEPER SOUTH. My name is Pete Candler, and I’m responsible for what you see and hear here. A DEEPER SOUTH emerges from the particular experience of traveling the American South for over 25 years, and coming to unlearn the myths of history and self with which I was raised. I really hope that what you hear and experience at THE DETOURIST will open up some cracks in the received versions of American history and of the American landscape. And within those cracks, I hope that you will find a more interesting, richer and fuller version of the story of this country in this region, and also maybe even an understanding of your own role within that story. Thank you so much for being here. Get full access to The DETOURIST at
Nov 17, 2023
12 min
Episode One: Vicksburg
 The first time I didn’t see the Mississippi Delta was in 1997. My friend John and I were on the first of what became multiple tours of the southeast. We had very little in the way of a plan of where we were going, except we knew that we wanted to make it to New Orleans. We weren’t sure how we were going to get there, but when we did get there, we headed due south on Louisiana Highway 23.We launch The DETOURIST from Vicksburg, Mississippi. And the first thing we do is—that’s right—take a detour. On the way we encounter the rarely-told story of how a racial massacre in 1874 brought a former Union General back to center stage, and the story of an unlikely experiment in Black self-government in antebellum Mississippi. Get full access to The DETOURIST at
Oct 2, 2023
31 min
The DETOURIST Podcast: Trailer
Let's take a detour. My name is Pete Candler. I want to take you on a road trip through the landscape of memory in the American South. Starting October 2nd in the Mississippi Delta, we’re going to wander our way across the region to end up in Atlanta, Georgia. And along the way, we’re going to discover stories that you and I will not believe we’ve never heard before.This is The Detourist. Subscribe now, wherever you listen to your podcasts. Let’s go. Get full access to The DETOURIST at
Sep 25, 2023
38 sec
RE(ADS): "The Souls of Black Folk"
Introducing RE(ADS): a new segment of the ADS podcast in which we take a single passage from a work that has influenced our journey over the last 25 years, and discuss it. In this first installment, John chooses a passage from W.E.B. Du Bois' classic work, "The Souls of Black Folk." Published in 1903, much of it was written during Du Bois' first stint in Atlanta as a professor at Atlanta University. The passage for today, taken from Chapter Four, "On the Wings of Atalanta," arises out of Du Bois' experience of Atlanta as the model city of the New South, and offers a prophetic and still timely critique of the dangers of "Mammonism." Get full access to The DETOURIST at
Jul 12, 2022
26 min
Ramblin' On Our Mind: Looking Towards the 25th Anniversary Tour (Part Two)
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Jun 27, 2022
27 min
Ramblin’ On Our Mind: Looking Towards the 25th Anniversary Tour (Part One)
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Jun 20, 2022
15 min
Gone in Milledgeville
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Mar 2, 2020
15 min
Rumbling Man
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Feb 17, 2020
23 min
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