The South

The South falls from the granite, forested fists of Kentucky and Tennessee into craggy hill country and thick woods. This rugged landscape slowly changes as the waters of its rivers – including North America's greatest, the Mississippi – saturate the land into boggy, black-water blankets and sun-seared marsh, all thinning into the salty membrane of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.

Arguably the first region of the USA to be considered its own distinct place, the South is defined by its cuisine, landscape, accent, literature, music and, under-girding all of the above, history – one that is long and beautiful in places, brutal and bloody in others.

Yet while Southerners consider themselves tied to this land and water, they are also the inhabitants of cities deeply in tune with the American experience, from the sweat-drenched noir of Charleston and New Orleans to the accept-all-comers diversity of Atlanta and Nashville.