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Remembering Sheldon Hackney, 1933-2013

Sheldon HackneyNewSouth Books announces with sadness the passing of Sheldon Hackney, whose life and work inspired a new book — a “festschrift” called Dixie Redux: Essays in Honor of Sheldon Hackney, due out in November.

One of the volume’s editors, Ray Arsenault, and one of the essay contributors, Charles Joyner, each sent these tributes to their friend and mentor.

“Sheldon Hackney died this morning, September 12, at the age of 79, at his home in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts. He is now at peace, surrounded by his loving family — his wife Lucy, his son Fain and daughter-in-law Melissa, his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Brian, and his eight grandchildren. Some of Sheldon’s colleagues and former students have been preparing a volume of essays in his honor — a volume that will be published late next month. Sheldon knew about this effort and seemed to take great pleasure from it. Last night Pat Sullivan was able to visit with Sheldon and to show him an advance copy of the cover and the introductory chapter that profiles his remarkable life. Perhaps we can take some comfort in knowing that this brought a smile to his face–and that he surely had some sense of how much we love and admire him. Peace to his spirit.”

— Ray Arsenault, editor, Dixie Redux, John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History, University of South Florida

“Sheldon’s scholarship, his teaching and his leadership left an extraordinary legacy. Many make a mark in one of those, some in two, but few in all three. It has be our privilege to be his students (whether in the classroom or on the page) and to share his friendship. I am saddened at his death, but here on the edge of the Atlantic I look out at the horizon and think of what someone said at my father’s funeral many years ago: On this side of the horizon, we are lamenting ‘there he goes, but on the other side of the horizon they are smiling ‘here he comes.'”

— Charles Joyner, Burroughs Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Southern History and Culture at Coastal Carolina University

Sheldon Hackney’s book The Politics of Presidential Appointment is available from NewSouth Books or your favorite bookstore.

Dixie Redux: Essays in Honor of Sheldon Hackney is available for pre-order from NewSouth Books. The 19 contributors, all distinguished historians, include Arsenault and co-editor Orville Vernon Burton, Joyner, and Drew Gilpin Faust, William R. Ferris, Lani Guinier, Steven Hahn, Randall Kennedy, J. Morgan Kousser, Peyton McCrary, Stephanie McCurry, James M. McPherson, David Moltke-Hansen, Michael O’Brien, Thomas Sugrue, Patricia Sullivan, and J. Mills Thornton.