Charleston! Charleston!

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Walter J. Fraser, Jr., is professor of history and chair of the history department at Georgia Southern University. Author of Charleston! Charleston!: A History of a Southern City, Fraser has coedited three books and published articles and reviews in publications such as Journal of American History, Journal of Southern History, South Carolina Historical Magazine, and Georgia Historical Quarterly.


Often called the quintessential Southern city, Charleston ranks as one of the earliest urban centers in North America. Yet except for anecdotal accounts, Charleston has never received the full historical overview that it deserves. Fraser goes a long way toward redressing that balance, covering all facets of the city and its inhabitants. Culture, recreation, society, religion, and intellectual life are all placed in proper regional, national, and urban contexts. With many entertaining descriptions, Fraser vividly demonstrates how Charleston went from a ``boisterous, brawling sea city'' to the plantation capital of the low country. It was here that the Civil War began; ironically, says Fraser, a century later it had become what President Eisenhower called the ``microcosm of the military-industrial complex.'' This is about as comprehensive a picture of colorful Charleston as we are likely to get for some time. Recommended for all libraries with Southern history interests.-- Jason H. Silverman, Winthrop Coll., Rock Hill, S.C.

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