“Historic Alabama Courthouses: A Century of Their Images and Stories,” by Delos Hughes

Reviewed by Julia Jordan Weller If the walls of courthouses could talk, they would whisper the experiences of those who worked, litigated, and governed over the last 150 years or more.  Some courtrooms have evolved from open air forums, such as those held in Wedowee until 1836, to some of the grand domed buildings that […]

“Forsaken,” by Ross Howell Jr.

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl American Experience is a television history series covering a range of people and events in American history, documentaries which bring to life compelling stories that inform our understanding of America. We have to imagine timelines: March 25, 1931, a fight breaks out between white and black young men riding as […]

“Journey to the Wilderness: War, Memory, and a Southern Family’s Civil War Letters,” by Frye Gaillard

Reviewed by Rod Davis A beautifully written personal and moral quest in search of insufferable truths, Frye Gaillard’s Journey to the Wilderness brings as much clarity to the lingering darkness in the Southern soul in a few emotionally honest pages as I have seen in volumes of hagiography, professional Southernism and clichéd pensives that plague […]

“The Path Was Steep,” by Susan Pickett

Reviewed by Morgan O’Grady Susan Pickett was on my mind as I crossed Alabama’s state line after leaving West Virginia the same morning: her well-fed babies, her cutting hair in the yard and selling the excess food from her father’s land. She was an Alabama native transplanted to West Virginia during the Depression. Her memoir, […]

“Emigration to Liberia,” by Matthew F.K. McDaniel

Reviewed by Allen Mendenhall Emigration to Liberia is the story of the nearly 500 African-Americans who left Columbus, Georgia, and Eufaula, Alabama, from 1853 to 1903, to emigrate to Liberia, the West African nation that was founded in 1822 by United States colonization. Matthew F.K. McDaniel marshals evidence from written correspondence and newspapers to piece […]

January Read of the Month: “Sailing to Alluvium,” by John Pritchard

  Reviewed by Michael Pitts In the third installment to the “Junior Ray Saga,” John Pritchard demonstrates his prowess for celebrating the unique world that is the Mississippi Delta. A delightfully obscene and irreverent burlesque tale, Sailing to Alluvium follows the “diktective” work of the loveable Junior Ray Loveblood and his pal Voyd Mudd. As […]