The Edge of the Wedge: Recollections of a Reluctant Prodigal
by Carroll Osburn
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The 1950's were idyllic, yet challenging times. In this insightful and often humorous semi-autobiographical novel, Osburn portrays life as a teenager in rural eastern Arkansas as anything but boring. However, would his conservative upbringing, revivals, and the Scout Oath see him through the changes?
While things were looking up after the war, time-honored ways were up for grabs. Federal intervention in desegregation shook old foundations. Rock and roll was attracting a generation that accepted musicians across racial barriers. Emerging counter-culturalism was beginning to challenge traditional values. In the face of modernism, old time religion was entrenching. Unavoidable questions demanded rethinking much that was held sacred by the Southern mind-set—the status quo, prosperity, segregation, the political system, religion, social classes. Where might "the thin edge of the wedge" lead?
In this engaging anecdotal account, a boy is caught in the cultural lag that kept die-hard Southern culture from dealing with the harsh realities of a changing world. His coming to terms with critical issues of the time is an interesting search for values and, half a century later, is loaded with contemporary relevance.