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The Illimitable Freedom of the Human Mind

Thomas Jefferson’s Idea of a University Andrew J. O’Shaughnessy

Already renowned as a statesman, Thomas Jefferson in his retirement from government turned his attention to the founding of an institution of higher learning. Never merely a patron, the former president oversaw every aspect of the creation of what would become the University of Virginia. Along with... More

The Fight for Fairfax

Private Citizens and Public Policymaking Russ Banham

The Fight for Fairfax, first published in 2009, presents the story of a group of local citizens in Fairfax County, Virginia, and their efforts over half a century to invent a place that would be more than a Washington, D.C., suburb. Told from their point of view, the book describes the group’s... More

Fulfilling the Promise

Virginia Commonwealth University and the City of Richmond, 1968–2009 John T. Kneebone and Eugene P. Trani

Founded in Richmond in 1968, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) began with a mission to build a university to serve a city emerging from the era of urban crisis—desegregation, white flight, political conflict, and economic decline. With the merger of the Medical College of Virginia and the... More

Virginians and Their Histories

Brent Tarter

Histories of Virginia have traditionally traced the same significant but narrow lines, overlooking whole swathes of human experience crucial to an understanding of the commonwealth. With Virginians and Their Histories, Brent Tarter presents a fresh, new interpretive narrative that incorporates the... More

Virginia Beer

A Guide from Colonial Days to Craft's Golden Age Lee Graves

The days of choosing between a handful of imports and a convenience store six-pack are long gone. The beer landscape in America has changed dramatically in the twenty-first century, as the nation has experienced an explosion in craft beer brewing and consumption. Nowhere is this truer than in... More

West with the Rise

Fly-fishing across America James Barilla

The first book to follow a fly-fishing trip from coast to coast, West with the Rise is James Barilla's account of a solitary journey that begins in New England and ends in Northern California, with little more to keep him company than a secondhand pickup bought just for the trip, a pair of Nikes he... More

Virginia Wine

Four Centuries of Change 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

Visions of a Shenandoah Valley City since 1828 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

A History of the University of Virginia in One Hundred Objects 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

A History of the Jefferson Society and Student Life at the University of Virginia 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

An Irish Immigrant Family in the Old and New South 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

Guide to the Geology and Natural History of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Edgar W. Spencer

As you travel along the Blue Ridge Parkway, hike the Appalachian Trail, or visit the national and state parks scattered throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains, you will encounter an incredible variety of natural landscapes, microclimates, and fascinating rock formations. Over millions of years the... More

Oh, Shenandoah

Paintings of the Historic Valley and River 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

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

Hidden History

African American Cemeteries in Central Virginia 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

Dare to Dream

How James Madison University Became Coed and Shocked the Basketball World 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

Schooling and Riding the Sport Horse

A Modern American Hunter/Jumper System Paul D. Cronin

A protégé of the legendary Vladimir S. Littauer and for more than thirty years director of the riding program at Sweet Briar College, Paul D. Cronin is a well-known and highly respected trainer and riding instructor. Schooling and Riding the Sport Horse is Cronin's clear and practical guide to... More

Old Southampton

Politics and Society in a Virginia County, 1834-1869 Daniel W. Crofts

Nat Turner's 1831 slave insurrection made Virginia's Southampton County notorious. Gradually, however, the bloody spectacle receded from national memory.Although the timeless rhythms of rural life resumed after the insurrection, Southampton could not escape the forces of change. From the Age of... More

OpenGrounds at the University of Virginia

Link, Learn, Lead, Live 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

Mr. Jefferson's Struggle to Save the University That Changed America 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

Three Weeks through the Heart of Virginia 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

and Other Tales of Virginia 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

The Origins and Persistence of Undemocratic Politics in Virginia 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"

Letters of Mountain Families in Shenandoah National Park, 1934-1938 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