- Citizen-Scholar: Essays in Honor of Walter Edgar ed. by Robert H. Brinkmeyer Jr
Historian Walter Edgar has produced many books, directed the University of South Carolina's Institute for Southern Studies, and continues to host a weekly radio show, Walter Edgar's Journal. Throughout his career, Edgar has influenced numerous scholars and the public, and in Citizen-Scholar: Essays in Honor of Walter Edgar, Robert H. Brinkmeyer Jr. presents a series of essays that recognize Edgar's contributions to South Carolina and its history. The book begins with essays by Edgar's friends and colleagues that focus on the role he has played in their lives and in the historical profession. Following the personal tributes are short chapters on South Carolina history that expand on Edgar's own work and that underscore his role in moving the field forward.
In the first section of the book, Brinkmeyer brings together Winston Groom, Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, Harris Pastides, and Mark M. Smith to express their [End Page 238] appreciation of Edgar's character and talent. These longtime friends and colleagues provide laudatory accounts of their connections to Edgar, discussing his life as a student, soldier, and scholar.
Brinkmeyer follows this section with twelve chapters addressing topics from South Carolina's past and present. Larry D. Watson notes in "The Grand Jury in Colonial South Carolina: An Index of Societal Concerns" that jury records provide a lens into the daily lives of everyday South Carolinians. Watson includes colorful and insightful accounts of grievances placed before the grand jury, demonstrating the extent and breadth of the issues that it addressed. In "The Worlds of John Tunno: Scottish Emigrant, Charleston Loyalist, London Merchant, 1746-1819," Barbara L. Bellows uses John Tunno's story to explore the experiences of Loyalists during and after the American Revolution. She notes that they faced social and economic distress and, in Tunno's case, left everything behind to flee South Carolina. John M. Sherrer III's "Rediscovering Milo H. Berry: Columbia Artisan and Businessman, 1843-1907" demonstrates that there was a strong artisan culture in Columbia that deserves more attention from historians. Focusing on Edgefield County in his chapter, Orville Vernon Burton argues that most citizens emphasized local concerns throughout the Civil War and that nationalism increased only as the war concluded and as the Lost Cause ideology emerged. Bernard E. Powers Jr. discusses the development of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church from its pre-Civil War beginning through its expansion during the era of the New South. Powers also points out that the AME Church and its leaders were key contributors to the civil rights movement in South Carolina and the nation. Peter A. Coclanis, in "Another 'Faithful Index': Inventive Activity and Economic Innovation in Nineteenth-Century South Carolina," uses patent data to discuss South Carolina's intellectual life between 1776 and 1865. He explains that the state not only focused on profiting from a slave-based agricultural system but also embraced intellectual and technological progress.
Brinkmeyer also includes chapters that address post-Civil War issues and that stress the past's enduring influence on South Carolina and its citizens. Charles Joyner, for instance, explores the long fight over flying the Confederate battle flag above the state capitol. Joyner examines southern views on honor, the myths surrounding southern heritage, and the link that many white southerners have made between the flag and their regional identity. In the chapter "Walter Edgar and the Southern Military Tradition," Andrew H. Myers summarizes historians' arguments about the existence of a martial tradition in the South. John M. McCardell Jr. argues in "William Gilmore Simms and His World after the Civil War: A New Look at Joscelyn" that southern literature provides a window into the views of white southerners during Reconstruction. Focusing on Simms's novel Joscelyn (1867), McCardell delves into Simms's perception of the causes of the war and his reaction to the changes in southern society. James C. Cobb, in his essay, discusses...