04 December 2015

Suggested Local History Books for Gifting

There's a renewed interest in dialing down on the materialism that has dominated the Holiday Season using the "Four Gift Rule" for children. The mantra is every child should expect and get only 4 gifts during the Christmas Season: Wear. Read. Want. Need. 
As a librarian, I am delighted to see that "Something to Read" is on the list.  Here are some suggestions as potential local history gift books:

The fine folks at SCIway offer a host of recommendations for all ages. For children ages 6 to 11, I like the very colorful Amadeus, The Leghorn Rooster by Deloris Nevils, illustrated by Jonathan Green. One cannot go wrong with the children's books and DVDs of Ron and Natalie Daise.

For adult readers, I offer:

Best Series on Local History: The History of Beaufort County, 1514 - 2006 by lead author Dr. Lawrence Rowland is finally done. Volume 1, 1514 - 1861 covers the settlement of Santa Elena to the Civil War; Volume 2 entitled Rebellion, Reconstruction and Redemption, 1861 - 1893 covers the Civil War, the Port Royal Experiment, the destruction of Reconstruction, and the Phosphate Boom; Volume 3 called Bridging the Sea Islands's Past, 1893 - 2006 covers the Great Sea Island Hurricane of 1893, economic troubles, establishment of the Parris Island Recruit Depot, and the advent of gated communities. Read it to understand why the claim that "All America History Begins in Beaufort South Carolina" resonates.

Best Short History: Historic Beaufort County: An Illustrated History by Michael C. Taylor, 2003, gives a broad outline of the key issues and eras from the Native Americans to the early 21st century.
Best Civil War/Reconstruction era history is Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment by Willie Lee Rose, 1964. In many ways, Beaufort County SC was Ground Zero for Reconstruction. This well researched book thoroughly explains why St. Helena Island and by extension Beaufort District was so important to that effort.

Best History of the role of the US Military in the Area is Parris Island: Once a Recruit, Always a Marine by Eugene Alvarez, 2007. Heat, sand gnats, and rigorous training turn a few patriotic boys and girls into fighting men and women willing to defend the United States Constitution against all enemies foreign or domestic. The Navy and its subdivision, the Marine Corps, saved Beaufort County economically speaking in the early days of the 20th century.  

Best Pictorial History about the impact of the Marine Corps here is 100 Years of Making Marines at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, 2015 published to celebrate the MCRD Centennial. 

Best Modern Era history is Profits and Politics in Paradise: The Development of Hilton Head Island by Michael N. Danielson, 1995. Danielson tackles the impact of planned gated communities on Beaufort County socio-economic and political life. 

While Pat Conroy is our most famous author in residence, there are other gifted writers producing novels and poetry. Among those are Bernie Schein, Famous All Over Town, David Grimm, Swift Currents, Quitman Marshall, Warren Slesinger, and Ellen Malphrus, Untying the Moon. Ask at any of our reference desks for additional poetry and novel recommendations.

Happy holidays to you and yours.  The Beaufort County Library system will be closed Thurs., Dec. 24th and Fri., Dec. 25th.  New hours begin at most of our locations starting 2 January 2016.

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