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Virginia History & Culture


Virginia Wine

Andrew A. Painter

No state can claim a longer history of experimenting with and promoting viticulture than Virginia--nor does any state’s history demonstrate a more astounding record of initial failure and ultimate success.An essential addition to any wine lover’s library, Virginia Wine: Four Centuries of Change... More


Picturing Harrisonburg

David Ehrenpreis. Foreword by Kenneth E. Koons

Picturing Harrisonburg provides the most vibrant examination available of the history of the Virginia city, once a frontier town founded in the 1730s but now a burgeoning city centrally located in one of America’s most beloved, historic, and beautiful regions—the Shenandoah Valley. Taking... More


Mr. Jefferson's Telescope

Brendan Wolfe

Thomas Jefferson considered the University of Virginia to be among his finest achievements--a living monument to his artistic and intellectual ambitions. Now, on the occasion of the University's bicentennial, Brendan Wolfe has assembled one hundred objects that, brought together in one fascinating... More


Society Ties

Thomas L. Howard III and Owen W. Gallogly. Foreword by John T. Casteen III

Society Ties is a history of the University of Virginia’s oldest student organization, the Jefferson Society. Founded in 1825, the Society has counted the likes of Woodrow Wilson and Edgar Allan Poe among its membership and continues to be one of the largest and most active student organizations... More


The Dooleys of Richmond

Mary Lynn Bayliss

The Dooleys of Richmond is the biography of two generations of a dynamic and philanthropic immigrant family in the urban South. While most Irish Catholic immigrants who poured into the region in the nineteenth century were poor and illiterate, John and Sarah Dooley were affluent and well educated... More


Oh, Shenandoah

Andrei Kushnir. Foreword by Dana Hand Evans. With Warren R. Hofstra, William M. S. Rasmussen, and Jeffrey C. Everett. Afterword by Edward L. Ayers

The Shenandoah Valley is widely renowned for its beauty and its idyllic landscape of farms, fields, historic towns, and Civil War battlefields. Framed to the east and west by the majestic Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, the region is defined by the river made famous in the 1882 song "Oh,... More


Hidden History

Lynn Rainville

In Hidden History, Lynn Rainville travels through the forgotten African American cemeteries of central Virginia to recover information crucial to the stories of the black families who lived and worked there for over two hundred years. The subjects of Rainville’s research are not statesmen or... More


The Five George Masons

Pamela C. Copeland and Richard K. McMaster

A Founding Father, a patriot in the Revolutionary War, a delegate from Virginia to the Constitutional Convention, and one of the driving forces behind the creation of the U.S. Bill of Rights, George Mason (1725-1792) worked passionately and diligently throughout his life, both as a private citizen... More


Dare to Dream

Lou Campanelli. With Dave Newhouse

In 1971, Madison College was a small-town teachers college with around 3,000 students, most of them female. To elevate the college’s visibility and to appeal immediately to males, new president Dr. Ronald E. Carrier sought to build a solid men’s collegiate athletic program. He hired a young,... More


The Architecture of Historic Rockbridge

J. Daniel Pezzoni

This abundantly illustrated, wide-ranging volume captures the rich and diverse architectural history of Rockbridge County, Virginia, including the two cities of Lexington and Buena Vista. While recent books have documented the area’s social history, this book fills a long-recognized void by tracing... More


OpenGrounds at the University of Virginia

Edited by William Sherman and Lindsey Hepler

OpenGrounds is a University of Virginia initiative that builds on a legacy of innovation to create new programs, places, and partnerships; to catalyze new approaches to important challenges; and to inspire new collaborations across and beyond the "Grounds." The university was founded as a... More


Rot, Riot, and Rebellion

Rex Bowman and Carlos Santos

Thomas Jefferson had a radical dream for higher education. Designed to become the first modern public university, the University of Virginia was envisioned as a liberal campus with no religious affiliation, with elective courses and student self-government. Nearly two centuries after the university... More


Journey on the James

Earl Swift

From its beginnings as a trickle of icy water in Virginia's northwest corner to its miles-wide mouth at Hampton Roads, the James River has witnessed more recorded history than any other feature of the American landscape -- as home to the continent's first successful English settlement, highway for... More


The Tangierman's Lament

Earl Swift

Go where the story is--that’s one tenet of journalism Earl Swift has had little trouble living up to. In two decades of covering the commonwealth, Swift has hiked, canoed--even spelunked--a singular path through Virginia. He has also stopped and listened. This collection brings together some twenty... More


The Grandees of Government

Brent Tarter

From the formation of the first institutions of representative government and the use of slavery in the seventeenth century through the American Revolution, the Civil War, the civil rights movement, and into the twenty-first century, Virginia’s history has been marked by obstacles to democratic... More


"Answer at Once"

Katrina M. Powell, ed.

With the Commonwealth of Virginia's Public Park Condemnation Act of 1928, the state surveyed for and acquired three thousand tracts of land that would become Shenandoah National Park. The Commonwealth condemned the homes of five hundred families so that their land could be "donated" to the federal... More


Never Ask Permission

Mary Buford Hitz. Preface by Anne Firor Scott

Some cities, through hardship or glory or a combination of both, produce extraordinary women. Richmond in the early twentieth century, dominated by its prominent families and still haunted by the ghosts of its Confederate past, produced a galaxy of such characters, including Ellen Glasgow, Mary... More


Richmond

Virginius Dabney

Richmond: The Story of a City chronicles the growth of this historic community over nearly four centuries from its founding in the early 1700s by William Byrd II to its most recent urban and suburban developments. In this expanded edition Virginius Dabney updates his history by examining the... More


The University of Virginia

Susan Tyler Hitchcock. Updated and expanded by Mariflo Stephens

In the nearly two centuries since the first building’s completion in Thomas Jefferson’s academical village, programs and facilities at the University of Virginia have been continually expanded and updated. This second edition of Susan Tyler Hitchcock’s The University of Virginia: A Pictorial... More


The Great Valley Road of Virginia

Edited by Warren R. Hofstra and Karl Raitz

The Great Valley Road of Virginia chronicles the story of one of America’s oldest, most historic, and most geographically significant roads. Emphasized throughout the chapters is a concern for landscape character and the connection of the land to the people who traveled the road and to permanent... More


Frank Batten

Connie Sage

Frank Batten Sr. (1927–2009) created the Weather Channel in 1982, despite mocking by colleagues in the media that around-the-clock weather broadcasts would be as exciting as watching paint dry. The network, and later its companion website, Weather.com, became the largest private weather company in... More


Lost Communities of Virginia

Terri Fisher and Kirsten Sparenborg. Foreword by William Ferris

Virginia’s back roads and rural areas are dotted with traces of once-thriving communities. General stores, train depots, schools, churches, banks, and post offices provide intriguing details of a way of life now gone. The buildings may be empty or repurposed today, the existing community may be... More


The Horse in Virginia

Julie A. Campbell

Virginia's horse tradition goes back 400 years, to when horses accompanied some of the first settlers in Jamestown. Since then, the state’s special relationship with the horse has never waned. Virginia has been home to some of the most notable breeds in the world—nurturing the Thoroughbred and... More


The Fight for Fairfax

Russ Banham

The Fight for Fairfax presents the story of a group of local citizens in Fairfax County, Virginia, and their efforts over the past half-century to invent a place that would be more than simply a Washington, D.C., suburb. Told from the group’s point of view, the book chronicles their vision of... More


Conserving the Commonwealth

Margaret T. Peters. Edited by Patrica Cecil Hass. With an afterword by FitzGerald Bemiss

Conserving the Commonwealth is the book that anyone interested in conservation and environmental issues has been waiting for. This history describes the earliest days of Virginia's environmental movement, recounting the efforts of a farsighted group of leaders to preserve Virginia's priceless... More


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