Tennesseans and Their History
The history of Tennessee is full of dramatic episodes and colorful characters that give the Volunteer State a major place in the American saga. From the bloody battle of Shiloh in 1862 to the Dayton “monkey trial” of 1925 to the assassination of Martin Luther King in Memphis in 1968, Tennessee has been the locale for many of America’s most important events.
This new book presents a synthesis of Tennessee history from earliest times to the present. Striking a balance of social, economic, and political perspectives, it moves from frontier times to early statehood, antebellum society through the Civil War to Reconstruction, then establishes Tennessee’s place in the New South and in modern times.
Full coverage is devoted to the Civil Rights era and to events in the later years of this century, including environmental issues. The text deals honestly with slavery and segregation and also corrects shortcomings of previous works by placing the state’s history in the context of national issues and events within the South.
The authors introduce readers to famous personages like Andrew Jackson and Austin Peay, often using quotations to give them voice. They also tell stories of ordinary people and their lives to show how they are an integral part of history. Sidebars throughout the text highlight stories of particular interest, and reading lists at the end of chapters further enhance the text’s utility.
Tennesseans and Their History was written for students needing a basic introduction to state history and to general readers looking for a lively introduction to Tennessee’s past. Written to be entertaining as well as instructive, it makes the state’s history relevant to a new generation of Tennesseans.
The Authors: Paul H. Bergerson is professor of history at the University of Tennessee and the editor of The Papers of Andrew Johnson.
Stephen V. Ash is associate professor of history at the University of Tennessee and author of Middle Tennessee Transformed, 1860-1870: War and Peace in the Upper South.
Jeanette Keith is associate professor of history at Bloomsburg University and the author of Country People in the New South: Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland.