PJAS 10-6

Joanna Perzyna
ABC’s North and South (Book I and Book II) Miniseries as an Expression of Reaganite Ideology
Polish Journal for American Studies, vol. 10 (2016), pp. 79-101


The article examines the compatibility of David L. Wolper’s adaptation of North and South (Book I and Book II) with Reaganite ideology. It discusses the modifications of the original text (characters and events) to demonstrate how a Civil War novel has been transformed into a mirror image of Reaganite America. Wolper’s TV adaptation forms part of Ronald Reagan’s governing narrative of building one and strong America. The positive investment in the past – sanitizing or eliminating socially divisive issues, such as slavery and promoting core values such as family – helps to reach the national consensus on history that everybody (Southerners and Northerners) can identify with. Wrapped in the 1980s aesthetics of opulence, Wolper’s adaptation conveys a message of America’s greatness, attainable under the Lincoln-Reagan rallying cry “we must all stand united as Americans.”

Keywords: John Jakes, North and South, David L. Wolper, adaptation, Reaganite ideology

DOI: 10.7311/PJAS.10/2016.06

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