Protestants: God's Conservative Acre

That oldtime religion, based on faith in an all-powerful God and an infallible Bible, is still deeply entrenched in the South. This assessment comes from one of the more knowing observers of the area: Erskine Caldwell, who immortalized the mores of Dixie in such bestselling novels as Tobacco Road and God's Little Acre. In a new book of factual reporting called Deep South (Wey-bright & Talley; $6.50), Caldwell gives eyewitness testimony that the basic beliefs of many Southern churches have been left untouched by the changes affecting the rest of U.S. Christianity.

Son of a Presbyterian minister, Caldwell, 64, has...