JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

New book by Jackson
Gives Personal History of Alabama

By Sherry Kughn
JSU News Bureau

January 22, 2004 -- Jacksonville State University’s Hardy Jackson has a new book that gives a “personal history” of Alabama.

Inside Alabama: A Personal History of My State explores Alabama’s cultural, political, and economic development from prehistoric times to the dawning of the new millennium.

Alabama is my home,” says Jackson, professor and chair of History and Foreign Languages at JSU. “This is the history I tell to people. The book has stories that I’ve been told, and there are stories I remember from growing up in Alabama.”

The book’s cover describes it as “An affectionate, irreverent, and candid look at the ‘Heart of Dixie.’” Included in the stories are well known characters from the state’s past – the mound builders, Hernando de Soto, William Bartram, Benjamin Hawkins, Red Sticks, Andrew Jackson, Bourbon Democrats, women reformers, New Dealers, Hugo Black, Julia Tutwiler, Martin Luther King Jr., George Wallace, and Rosa Parks. Inside Alabama is written for both general readership and for students.

Jackson is a natural for telling a personal story of Alabama’s history. He can trace his ancestry back to the time before Alabama became a state.

The book is sprinkled with humor and candor and recounts major events and conditions of the state.

“I love Alabama,” said Jackson, “warts and all.”

Inside Alabama features on its cover a water color painting by the late Alabama artist John Kelly Fitzpatrick. The artwork itself tells a story of the Jackson family’s ties to Alabama. One of Jackson’s grandmothers attended high school with the artist and later a family member purchased the painting, which now hangs in Jackson’s home.

Jackson is the author of several books, including Rivers of History: Life on the Coosa; Tallapoosa, Cahaba, and Alabama; and Putting “Loafing Streams” to Work: The Building of Lay, Mitchell, Martin and Jordan Dams, 1910-1929.

Inside Alabama sells in paperback for $26.95 and is published by The University of Alabama Press. Bookstores in Oxford say the book will be in by mid-February, or it can be ordered from the website www.uapress.ua.edu. A 20% discount is available online.

The Alabama Review’s editor, Robert J. Jakeman of Auburn, said the book is “Honest and entertaining . . . Jackson’s idiosyncratic voice sets just the right tone for the general reader. . . . Here is one scholar who knows how to tell a good story, and readers will appreciate it.”

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