I Don't Hate The South takes its title from the famous declaration by Faulkner's character Quentin Compson in the novel Absalom, Absalom!. The book traces Baker's own ambivalent relationship to the South and its various protocols of family and black expressive cultural independence through a memoiristic recounting of the author's various academic posts, family dramas, travels, and engagements with that most famous of southern authors, William Faulkner as well as the black expressive "experimentalists" Percival Everett and Ralph Ellison. I Don't Hate The South's central claim is that the South is a laboratory, metaphor, and proving ground for American polity as a whole. W. E. B. Du Bois noted: "As the South goes, so goes the nation!" Houston Baker sets out to show the present-day wisdom of Du Bois's observation in a post-Hurricane Katrina moment of national family crisis. With incisive wit, scrupulous literary and cultural analysis, and vivid portraits of members of his own family, the author provides captivating reading and an object lesson on the United States' regional and national interdependence.