Alabama: The History of a Deep South State

By William Warren Rogers; Robert David Ward et al. | Go to book overview

Preface

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 with J. 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.

-xiii-

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