Alabama: The History of a Deep South State

Alabama: The History of a Deep South State

Alabama: The History of a Deep South State

Alabama: The History of a Deep South State

Synopsis

In 1934 Carl Carmer wrote that "Alabama felt a magic descending, spreading, long ago". That magic, whether long ago or in the recent past, continues to captivate and fascinate both citizens and observers from afar, and many historians have tried to capture its essence. Albert J. Pickett produced the first comprehensive history of the state in 1852, but no historian has matched his effort since A. B. Moore's 1934 work - at least not until now. Alabama: The History of a Deep South State is divided into three sections, the first concluding with the South's defeat in 1865, the second ending with the beginning of the Jazz Age in 1920, and the third bringing the story into 1993. In both chronological and topical organization, the book examines traditional subjects such as politics, military events, economics, and social movements. It discusses the roles of individual leaders, from politicians to creative artists. Both general readers and careful students of Alabama history will discover less well knownpeople and,issues treated in sections devoted to race, Indians, women, and the environment. Attention is given to health, education, organized labor, civil rights, and cultural elements - from literature to sports - that have affected the lives of Alabamians. There is strong emphasis upon the common people, those who have been rightly described as the "bone and sinew" of Alabama. Each section of the book was written by a scholar with strong ties to Alabama who has devoted much of his or her professional life to the study of that period of the state's history. Although the three sections reflect individual style and interpretation, the authors have collaborated closely on overall themes andorganization. The work relies on both primary sources and such important secondary works as monographs, articles, and unpublished theses and dissertations to provide fresh insights, new approaches, and new interpretations. The re

Excerpt

ALBERT BURTON MOORE published his History of Alabama in 1934, and it has remained the most comprehensive overall study of the state. A brief narrative history, Alabama: A Place, a People, a Point of View, by Daniel S. Gray in collaboration withJ. Barton Starr, appeared in 1977. That same year Virginia Van der Veer Hamilton useful and interpretative Alabama, A Bicentennial History was published. Statistical data and an outline of events through the nineteenth century are available in Lucille Griffith, ed., Alabama: A Documentary History to 1900 (1972). The late Malcolm Cook McMillan of Auburn University, whose professional career was dedicated to the study of Alabama history, intended to revise Moore's book. While preparing the revision, he discovered that the appearance of many excellent scholarly articles and monographs on Alabama and the South, the increasing availability of original sources, and changing interpretations of history made a completely new and modern study necessary. His death in 1989 prevented Professor McMillan from writing the book. With the close collaboration and interest of Malcolm M. MacDonald, director of The University of Alabama Press, the four authors, who are students of Alabama history, researched and wrote the present volume.

By design the work makes no attempt to be a seamless study, but Professors Rogers and Ward served as general editors. The author or authors of each historical segment have written in his or her own style and presented individual interpretations and evaluations of events. Unifying threads of politics, religion, creative accomplishments, education, economics, geography and environment, military activities, race, and gender, of course, provide continuity. This volume is intended for general readers as well as for scholars and for use as a textbook in Alabama history. Besides providing a state history based on multiple primary and secondary sources, the purpose is also to explore and discuss topics that can be used as starting points for deeper and more detailed study. By offering interpretations of events and of people and their activities, the authors hope to stimulate thinking and inquiry that will agree with, qualify, or refute the positions they have taken.

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