Walter Edgar's Journal

All Stations: Fri, 12-1 pm | News & Talk Stations: Sun, 4-5 pm

Walter Edgar's Journal delves into the arts, culture, history of South Carolina and the American South. (A production of South Carolina Public Radio.)

Walter Edgar's Journal, Podcast Archive, May 2008 - August 2014

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed on Walter Edgar's Journal are not necessarily those of South Carolina Public Radio.

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Charleston, South Carolina, 1865. Broad street, looking east with the ruins of Cathedral of St. John and St. Finbar.
Library of Congress; photographer unknown

  (Originally broadcast 01/15/16) - National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis called the Reconstruction Era an “often-ignored or misunderstood period in our rich history” but one that bridges the nation’s Civil War and its civil rights movement. Now, the Park Service has begun chronicling the historic sites in South Carolina that tell the Reconstruction story.

Colonial style window
iStock photo © Massimo Fanelli

  The Charleston World Heritage Commission's mission is to nominate iconic buildings and landscapes representative of the Charleston Lowcountry, plantation-driven culture as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the highest cultural and historic designation bestowed on a place or site.

  In his 40 years as Mayor of Charleston, Joe Riley has led the historic port city through its greatest period of growth, economic development and unity. His authorized biography, The Mayor: Joe Riley and the Rise of Charleston (Evening Post Publishing Company, 2015), is the inside story of his life and how he built -- and forever transformed -- one of the nation's oldest cities.

Portrait of Henry Laurens, engraved from a drawing by W. C. Armstrong after the portrait by John Singleton Copley.
The National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans, 1839

  (Originally broadcast 02/26/16) - Dr. Woody Holton of the University of South Carolina claims that, when it comes to the Revolution, Americans can justifiably claim, "The English made us do it." Dr. Holton talks with Dr. Edgar about what drove Carolina to challenge Imperial authority.

Their talk was part of a series of public conversations, “Conversations on Colonial and Revolutionary South Carolina,” presented by the University Of South Carolina College Of Arts and Sciences’ Institute of Southern Studies.

“Join or Die,” by Benjamin Franklin, Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia, PA), May 9, 1754.
Library of Congress

  (Originally broadcast 02/19/16) - ​In his book, Carolina in Crisis: Cherokees, Colonists, and Slaves in the American Southeast, 1756 - 1763, (2015, UNC Press) Dr. Daniel J. Tortora, assistant professor of history at Colby College, explores how the Anglo-Cherokee War reshaped the political and cultural landscape of the colonial South.

Palmetto Tree
iStock

  (Originally broadcast 02/12/16) - In January and February of 2016 the University Of South Carolina College Of Arts and Sciences’ Institute of Southern presented a series of public conversations with Dr. Walter Edgar and guest scholars: “Conversations on Colonial and Revolutionary South Carolina”. In this first conversation, Dr. Larry Rowland talks with Dr. Edgar about “The Colonial Melting Pot.”

All Stations: Fri, May 13, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, May 15, 4 pm

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking in Kingstree, SC, May 8, 1966.
Moving Image Research Collections, University of South Carolina

  On Mother's Day 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited Kingstree, South Carolina and gave a remarkable public speech urging the audience of more than 5,000 to exercise their right to vote as a means to pursue social and economic justice. On August 6, 1965—just a eight months prior to Dr. King's speech— President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act, allowing the majority of Kingstree's citizens the right to vote.

Journalist Jim Hoagland
SCETV

  In December of 2015, the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded a grant to Humanities SC for From the Jazz Age to the Digital Age: Pulitzer Prize Winners in South Carolina, a program to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Prizes in 2016 through Pulitzer’s Campfires Initiative. Humanities SC has partnered with SCETV to produce three, 30-minute TV programs spotlighting the state’s Pulitzer winners, hosted by Charles Bierbauer, Dean of the USC College of Information and Communication.

Southern Provisions

Apr 15, 2016
Dr. David Shields
USC

(Originally broadcast 01/22/16) -  Southern food is America’s quintessential cuisine. From creamy grits to simmering pots of beans and greens, we think we know how these classic foods should taste. Yet the southern food we eat today tastes almost nothing like the dishes our ancestors enjoyed because the varied crops and livestock that originally defined this cuisine have largely disappeared. Now, a growing movement of chefs and farmers is seeking to change that by recovering the rich flavor and diversity of southern food.

Dr. Richard Porcher
Kristine Hartvisen

(Originally broadcast 03/13/15)  - Richard Dwight Porcher, Jr., eminent field biologist and lowcountry South Carolina native, has brought all of his skills as a botanist, historian, photographer, and conservationist to bear in a multidisciplinary study of the rice industry in South Carolina from its beginnings in the 1670s to its demise in the twentieth century.

Early American Flag
iStock

  Doug Bostick, of the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust, and Jim Lighthizer, President of the Civil War Trust, talk with Walter Edgar about their ongoing efforts to preserve important Revolutionary War sites in South Carolina. The trusts are currently working to obtain and preserve key portions of sites for the battles of the Battle of Hanging Rock and the Battle of the Waxhaws.

All Stations: Fri, Apr 8, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Apr 10, 4 pm

Scenic Impressions

Mar 28, 2016
Path with Mossy Trees by Hattie Saussy.
The Johnson Collection

  The radical changes wrought by the rise of the salon system in nineteenth-century Europe provoked an interesting response from painters in the American South. Painterly trends emanating from Barbizon and Giverny introduced a visual vocabulary of style, color, and content that was soon successfully adopted by American artists.

Art and Craft

Mar 21, 2016
Bill Thompson
SC Book Festival

   Art and Craft presents the hand-picked fruit of Bill Thompson's three decades covering writers and writing as book review editor of Charleston, South Carolina's Post and Courier. Beginning with a foreword by Charleston novelist Josephine Humphreys, this collection is a compendium of interviews featuring some of the most distinguished novelists and nonfiction writers in America and abroad, including Tom Wolfe, Pat Conroy, Joyce Carol Oates, Rick Bragg, and Anthony Bourdain, as well as many South Carolinians.

Remembering Pat Conroy: a Conversation with his Family

Mar 14, 2016

Pat Conroy, the beloved author of The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline and The Prince of Tides,  died March 4,  among his family, at home in Beaufort, S.C. He was 70 years old. He had announced his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in early February.

In 2014, Conroy recorded two remarkable episodes of Walter Edgar's Journal, the second of which "Pat Conroy and Family - The Death of Santini"  will be rebroadcast this week.

  Pat Conroy, the beloved author of The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline and The Prince of Tides, has died. Conroy — who announced last month that he had pancreatic cancer — died, March 4,  at his home among his family in Beaufort, S.C. He was 70 years old.

In 2014, Conroy recorded two remarkable episodes of Walter Edgar's Journal, the first of which will be rebroadcast this week.

The War the South Won

Feb 29, 2016
Engraving depicting the death of British Major Patrick Ferguson at the Battle of Kings Mountain during the American Revolutionary War, October 7, 1780.
Chappel, Alonzo, 1828-1887 (artist), Jeens, Charles Henry, 1827-1879 (engraver), Anne S. K. Brown Collection at Brown University

  General U.S. history courses in many high schools depict the American Revolutionary War as a series of battles in the Northeast--Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, etc.--that lead inexorably to British General Charles Cornwallis's surrender of 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a French and American force at Yorktown, Virginia, October 19, 1781.

The truth is much more complicated, of course. And a major component of the war, one that paved the way to Yorktown, was the fighting that took place in 1780 - 81 in the South. In essence, according to Dr. Jack Warren and Dr. Walter Edgar, the war was won in the South.

Revolution: the English Made Us Do It?

Feb 22, 2016
Early American Flag
iStock

  Dr. Woody Holton of the University of South Carolina claims that, when it comes to the Revolution, Americans can justifiably claim, "The English made us do it." Dr. Holton talks with Dr. Edgar about “Challenging Imperial Authority.”

Their talk was part of a series of public conversations, “Conversations on Colonial and Revolutionary South Carolina,” presented by the University Of South Carolina College Of Arts and Sciences’ Institute of Southern Studies.

All Stations: Fri, Feb 26, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Feb 28, 4 pm


Harper Lee being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, November 5, 2007.
White House photo by Eric Draper via Wikimedia Commons

  With today's news of the death of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Harper Lee, at age 89, we offer two encore episodes of Walter Edgar's Journal, each dealing with her book To Kill a Mockingbird.

The Carolina Frontier

Feb 15, 2016
Early map of Virginia and the Carolinas
North Carolina State Archives

​In his book, Carolina in Crisis: Cherokees, Colonists, and Slaves in the American Southeast, 1756 - 1763, (2015, UNC Press) Dr. Daniel J. Tortora, assistant professor of history at Colby College, explores how the Anglo-Cherokee War reshaped the political and cultural landscape of the colonial South. Tortora joins Walter Edgar for a discussion of these events in one of a a series of public conversations, “Conversations on Colonial and Revolutionary South Carolina,” presented earlier this year by the University of South Carolina’s College of Arts and Sciences.

In their discussion, Dr. Tortora argues that the political and military success of the Cherokees led colonists to a greater fear of slave resistance and revolt and ultimately nurtured South Carolinians' rising interest in the movement for independence.

All Stations: Fri, Feb 19, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Feb 21, 4 pm


European Union flag
Pinterest

  In their book, Religion and the Struggle for European Union: Confessional Culture and the Limits of Integration (Georgetown University Press, 2015), Furman University professors Brent F. Nelsen and James L. Guth delve into the powerful role of religion in shaping European attitudes on politics, political integration, and the national and continental identities of its leaders and citizens.

Palmetto Tree
iStock

  Earlier this year, the University of South Carolina College of Arts and Sciences’ Institute of Southern presented a series of public conversations with Dr. Walter Edgar and guest scholars: “Conversations on Colonial and Revolutionary South Carolina”. In this first conversation, Dr. Larry Rowland, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History for the University of South Carolina Beaufort, talks with Dr. Edgar about “The Colonial Melting Pot.”

All Stations: Fri, Feb 5, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Feb 7, 4 pm


Debris from homes damaged in the October 2015 floods in South Carolina.
SC Public Radio

Dr. Susan Cutter knows about disasters.

  She is director of the University of South Carolina’s Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute, and she has studied disaster preparedness, response. She has also headed teams that were on the ground after the destruction of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11 and after hurricane Katrina flooded much of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

The October 2015 floods in South Carolina offered her and her team the unique chance to be part of a disaster as it unfolded.

Southern Provisions

Jan 18, 2016
Dr. David Shields
USC

  Southern food is America’s quintessential cuisine. From creamy grits to simmering pots of beans and greens, we think we know how these classic foods should taste. Yet the southern food we eat today tastes almost nothing like the dishes our ancestors enjoyed because the varied crops and livestock that originally defined this cuisine have largely disappeared. Now, a growing movement of chefs and farmers is seeking to change that by recovering the rich flavor and diversity of southern food.

At the center of that movement is Dr. David Shields, who has spent over a decade researching early American agricultural and cooking practices. Shields joins Walter Edgar to talk about the history of Southern foodways and the current recovery of traditional foods and methods. Shields is the author of Southern Provisions: The Creation and Revival of a Cuisine (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

All Stations: Fri, Jan 22, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Jan 24, 4 pm


Charleston, South Carolina, 1865. Broad street, looking east with the ruins of Cathedral of St. John and St. Finbar.
Library of Congress; photographer unknown

  National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis called the Reconstruction Era an “often-ignored or misunderstood period in our rich history” but one that bridges the nation’s Civil War and its civil rights movement. Now, the Park Service has begun chronicling the historic sites in South Carolina that tell the Reconstruction story.

Michael Allen, a community partnership specialist with the National Parks Service in Charleston, will be working with groups and communities interested in taking part. He joins Dr. Edgar, along with Dr. Brent Morris, professor of history at USC Beaufort and Director of the NEH Summer Institute “America’s Reconstruction: The Untold Story” to talk about facts and myths of this important period of American history.

All Stations: Fri, Jan 15, 12 pm | Sun, Jan 17, 4 pm


  75% of all enslaved Africans coming to America came in through the ports of Charleston, Beaufort and Georgetown, South Carolina. The result of this mingling of slaves from West Africa with the plantation culture awaiting them in America became Gullah; the genesis and taproot of African American culture.

The PBS special, Circle Unbroken – A Gullah Journey from Africa to America, portrays the history of these resilient people in music by The Gullah Kinfolk and narrative through the eyes of South Carolinian Anita Singleton-Prather – ‘The First Lady of Gullah™.’ Producer Ron Small and Anita Singleton-Prather talk about Gullah history, culture, as well as the making of this TV special.

All Stations: Fri, Jan 8, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Jan 10, 4 pm


Ted and Matt Lee
Ovation

  (Originally broadcast 10/16/15) - The Lee Bros., who have popularized Southern cooking with a series of popular cookbooks, television appearances, and articles, are hosts of the new TV series, Southern Uncovered with the Lee Bros. They are also currently are contributing editors at Travel + Leisure and frequently write food stories for Bon Appetit, The New York Times, Fine Cooking and Food & Wine, among other publications. Matt and Ted joined Walter Edgar recently to talk about the new show, Southern food and culture, and their latest projects.

All Stations: Fri, Jan 1, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Jan 3, 4 pm


Harper Lee being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, November 5, 2007.
White House photo by Eric Draper via Wikimedia Commons

  (Originally broadcast October 9, 2015) - Dr. Robert Brinkmeyer, Director of the Institute of Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina, talks with Walter Edgar about Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchmen (Harper Collins, 2015), as well as To Kill a Mockingbird and its place in Southern literature.

All Stations: Fri, Dec 25, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Dec 27, 4 pm


Salley McInerney
independentmail.com

    Journey Proud (Abe Books, 2013) is the story of four white children growing up in the early 1960s in a middle-class neighborhood in Columbia, South Carolina. This coming-of-age tale set in the South during the civil rights movement exposes the inequities of the period and shows how childhood innocence is often replaced by harsh realities.

Walter Edgar talks with author Salley McAden McInerney. McInerney is a journalist, freelance writer and former columnist for the Anderson Independent-Mail, the Gwinnett Daily News, The Columbia Record and The State newspapers.

All Stations: Fri, Dec 18, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Dec 19, 4 pm


  The Voting Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in August of1965. This landmark legislation aimed to eliminate obstacles created by state and local governments to keep African Americans from exercising their right to vote under the 15th Amendment (1870) to the Constitution.

Walter Edgar talks with University of South Carolina historians Bobby Donaldson and Patricia Sullivan about the history leading to passage of the Voting Rights Act, and about its impact through the years.

All Stations: Fri, Dec 11, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Dec 13, 4 pm


American Surrealist

Nov 30, 2015
Piccolo Spoleto poster, 1984
Evening Post Books

  Charleston surgeon Richard Hagerty began painting before medical school honed his eye and hand coordination. He is a self taught artist who draws his surreal, fantastical imagery from dreams, mythology, history, science and stories. He works in a variety of media, including pen and ink, watercolor and oil. Hagerty and art curator Roberta Sokolitz talk with Walter Edgar about his art, his career, and about the new collection of his work, American Surrealist: The Art of Richard Hagerty (Evening Post Books, 2015), and exhibition of Hagerty’s work at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston.

All Stations: Fri, Dec 4, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Dec 6, 4 pm


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