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N.C. 1958: What America might have been?

By 1958 many American intellectuals were looking at Southern society with harsh disapproval. Not poet E. E. Cummings (or e. e. cummings), whose politics had swung right after a disillusioning visit to the Soviet Union.

After a series of readings at North Carolina colleges, Cummings wrote his sister:

“What a surprise — to enter a peacefully homogenous community where money is never mentioned, where no racial tension exists either on or under the surface; & where instead of colliding with indoctrinated automata, one meets courteous individuals! For the first time I realize what ‘America’ might have been.”