Clyde N. Wilson

Clyde N. Wilson

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Clyde N. Wilson is a professor of history
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 at the University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is a public, co-educational research university located in Columbia, South Carolina, United States, with 7 surrounding satellite campuses. Its historic campus covers over in downtown Columbia not far from the South Carolina State House...

, U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, a paleoconservative
Paleoconservatism is a term for a conservative political philosophy found primarily in the United States stressing tradition, limited government, civil society, anti-colonialism, anti-corporatism and anti-federalism, along with religious, regional, national and Western identity. Chilton...

 political commentator, a long-time contributing editor for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture
Chronicles (magazine)
Chronicles is a U.S. monthly magazine published by the Rockford Institute. Its full current name is Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. The magazine is known for promoting anti-globalism, anti-intervention and anti-immigration stances within conservative politics, and is considered one of...

 and Southern Partisan
Southern Partisan
Southern Partisan is a right-wing political magazine published in the United States founded in 1979 that focuses on its Southern region and those states that were formerly members of the Confederate States of America. Its first editor was Thomas Fleming...

magazine, and an occasional contributor to National Review
National Review
National Review is a biweekly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City. It describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion."Although the print version of the...

. Wilson is best known for his expertise on the life and writings of John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun
John Caldwell Calhoun was a leading politician and political theorist from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century. Calhoun eloquently spoke out on every issue of his day, but often changed positions. Calhoun began his political career as a nationalist, modernizer, and proponent...

, having recently compiled all his papers in twenty-eight volumes. He is the M.E. Bradford Distinguished Chair of the Abbeville Institute, an adjunct faculty member of the libertarian
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 Ludwig von Mises Institute
Ludwig von Mises Institute
The Ludwig von Mises Institute , based in Auburn, Alabama, is a libertarian academic organization engaged in research and scholarship in the fields of economics, philosophy and political economy. Its scholarship is inspired by the work of Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises...

, and an affiliated scholar of the League of the South Institute, the research arm of the League of the South
League of the South
The League of the South is a Southern nationalist organization, headquartered in Killen, Alabama, which states that its ultimate goal is "a free and independent Southern republic." The group defines the Southern United States as the states that made up the former Confederacy...

. In 1994 Wilson was an original founder of the League of the South.

Early life and education

Clyde N. Wilson was born in 1941 in Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the third-largest city by population in North Carolina and the largest city in Guilford County and the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. According to the 2010 U.S...

, where he was raised. His father, Clyde Sr., a fireman, was a leader in the state Firefighters Union and was chosen to train and command the first African-American fire company in Greensboro. Clyde Jr. was editor of the Greensboro High School newspaper in his senior year, receiving a special commendation from the Columbia University Scholastic Press Association for editorial writing. During that year, 1958–1959, the high school was the first in North Carolina to be integrated.

Wilson received the B.A. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States...

 in 1963 and the M.A. in 1964. While still a student he published journalism in the Greensboro Daily News, the Greensboro Record, the Winston-Salem Journal, and the Chapel Hill Weekly, and wrote a regular column for the campus Daily Tar Heel. From 1964 he spent several years as a reporter for the Richmond News Leader and the Charlotte News, covering police, courts, and other matters.

In 1971 Wilson received the Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina. While a graduate student he published articles in such historical journals as The North Carolina Historical Review and Civil War Times, and in opinion journals like Modern Age, Intercollegiate Review, and National Review.

Later years

Wilson became Assistant Professor of History at the University of South Carolina in 1971; Associate Professor, 1977; Professor, 1983. In 1977 he became editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun, producing volumes 10 through the completion of the edition with volume 28 in 2003. Scholarly reviewers were unanimous in high praise for the Calhoun Papers for meticulous editorial work, insightful historical introductions, and steady progress. The term "exemplary" was often applied. Wilson's work on Calhoun drew comments like "shows high ability in the field of intellectual history" (Journal of American History), "plows new ground by the acre" (Virginia Magazine of History & Biography), and many others of similar import.

During 32 years at the University of South Carolina, Wilson taught a wide variety of courses and directed 16 doctoral dissertations, four of which quickly became books.

Wilson early identified himself as an intellectual heir of Richard Weaver and the Southern Agrarians. In 1980 he assisted Thomas Fleming in founding Southern Partisan magazine, and subsequently became a contributing editor of Chronicles when Fleming became editor of that journal. In 1981, Wilson brought together the book Why the South Will Survive, by Fifteen Southerners, a restatement of the Agrarian message of I'll Take My Stand on its fiftieth anniversary. The volume included contributions by Cleanth Brooks
Cleanth Brooks
Cleanth Brooks was an influential American literary critic and professor. He is best known for his contributions to New Criticism in the mid-twentieth century and for revolutionizing the teaching of poetry in American higher education...

, Andrew Lytle, George Garrett
George Garrett
George William Littler Garrett was a British clergyman and inventor who pioneered submarine design.-Early life:He was born at Moss Side in Manchester, England, the son of an Irish-born Church of England curate...

, and other well-known literati. In 1993 he was active in the formation of the League of the South and served on its board of directors for the first ten years. He has stated reasons for his role in creation of the League: the necessity to preserve the unique features of Southern culture and to promote devolution from the over-centralized government that now reigns.

The Southern Poverty Law Center
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center is an American nonprofit civil rights organization noted for its legal victories against white supremacist groups; legal representation for victims of hate groups; monitoring of alleged hate groups, militias and extremist organizations; and educational programs that...

 has listed Wilson among the "ideologues" of the neo-Confederate
Neo-Confederate is a term used by some academics and political activists to describe the views of various groups and individuals who have a positive belief system concerning the historical experience of the Confederate States of America, the Southern secession, and the Southern United...

 movement, claiming that he told Gentleman's Quarterly in 1998 that "We don't want the federal government telling us what to do, pushing integration down our throats... We're tired of carpetbagging professionals coming to our campuses and teaching that the South is a cultural wasteland." When asked what criteria the Southern Poverty Law Center uses, "Heidi Beirich, the law center’s director of research and special projects and a frequent contributor to its Hatewatch blog, acknowledged in an e-mail that 'we do not have a formal written criteria.'”

In a 2007 article addressing a debate exchange between presidential candidates Ron Paul
Ron Paul
Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul is an American physician, author and United States Congressman who is seeking to be the Republican Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Paul represents Texas's 14th congressional district, which covers an area south and southwest of Houston that includes...

 and Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani
Rudolph William Louis "Rudy" Giuliani KBE is an American lawyer, businessman, and politician from New York. He served as Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001....

, Wilson wrote the following concerning the Voting Rights Act of 1965:

Published work

Wilson has contributed more than 400 articles, essays, and reviews to a wide variety of academic and popular books and publications. He has lectured extensively across the U.S. to scholarly, heritage, and political groups.

Books include Carolina Cavalier: The Life and Mind of James Johnston Pettigrew, a Civil War biography that has gone through three editions; From Union to Empire: Essays in the Jeffersonian Tradition; and Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture. In addition, he has contributed to a number of influential books, including The New Right Papers, (Robert W. Whitaker, Ed.). He has edited a number of books, including three volumes of The Dictionary of Literary Biography on American historians; The Essential Calhoun; John C. Calhoun: A Bibliography; and A Defender of Southern Conservatism: M.E. Bradford and His Achievements. He has also written for Telos
TELOS (journal)
Telos is an academic journal published in the United States. It was founded in May 1968 to provide the New Left with a coherent theoretical perspective. It sought to expand the Husserlian diagnosis of "the crisis of European sciences" to prefigure a particular program of social reconstruction...


Wilson is recipient of the Bostick Medal for Contributions to South Carolina Letters, the first annual John Randolph Club Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans Medal of Meritorious Service. In 2005 he was the founding Dean of the Stephen D. Lee Institute, an educational arm of the Sons of Confederate Veterans
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Sons of Confederate Veterans is an American national heritage organization with members in all fifty states and in almost a dozen countries in Europe, Australia and South America...


External links