Walter Edgar's Journal

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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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Garden...and Gun?

Dec 19, 2016
Garden and Gun logo
Garden and Gun magazine

(Originally broadcast 09/03/16) - Yes, Garden & Gun--a magazine that covers “the best of the South,” including the sporting culture, the food, the music, the art, the literature, the people and their ideas. With a national audience of more than one million passionate and engaged readers, the magazine has won numerous awards for its journalism, design, and overall excellence.

The Cantaloupe Thief

Dec 14, 2016

(Originally broadcast 10/14/16) - In the new novel, The Cantaloupe Thief (2016, Lion Fiction), protagonist Branigan Powers decides that too many people are staying silent about a ten-year-old murder case. Powers, an journalist, knows a good story when she sees one—and the ten-year-old cold case of wealthy Alberta Grambling Resnick's murder definitely makes the cut. Now Branigan must do some serious digging to get her story.

A History of Beaufort County - Bridging the Sea Islands' Past and Present, 1893 to 2006
University of South Carolina Press

In the third volume of the history of Beaufort County, Lawrence S. Rowland and Stephen R. Wise conclude their five hundred–year chronicle of the legendary South Carolina Sea Islands. A History of Beaufort County - Bridging the Sea Islands' Past and Present, 1893–2006 (2016, USC Press) begins with the devastating Sea Island Hurricane of 1893, one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

Prof. Jon N. Hale
College of Charleston

Created in 1964 as part of the Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Mississippi Freedom Schools were launched by educators and activists to provide an alternative education for African American students that would facilitate student activism and participatory democracy. The schools, as Jon N.

Southern Provisions

Nov 21, 2016
Dr. David Shields

(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.

The Risen - Ron Rash

Nov 21, 2016

New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash demonstrates his superb narrative skills in this suspenseful and evocative tale of two brothers whose lives are altered irrevocably by the events of one long-ago summer—and one bewitching young woman—and the secrets that could destroy their lives.

 (Originally broadcast 11-11-14) this episode of Walter Edgar's Journal is an encore broadcast of a program that aired in 2014, the 100th year since the start of World War I.

Veterans day, celebrated in the U.S. on November 11, was once known here, as it still is in Europe, as Armistice Day. It marked the end of "The War to End All Wars"  in 1918.

Marian McPartland and and Dizzy Gillespie during a recording session for "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz."
SC Public Radio

In An Encyclopedia of South Carolina Jazz and Blues Musicians, Benjamin Franklin V documents the careers of South Carolina jazz and blues musicians from the nineteenth century to the present. The musicians range from the renowned (James Brown, Dizzy Gillespie), to the notable (Freddie Green, Josh White), to the largely forgotten (Fud Livingston, Josie Miles), to the obscure (Lottie Frost Hightower, Horace "Spoons" Williams), to the unknown (Vince Arnold, Johnny Wilson).

Henry William Ravenel
Public Doman, via Wikimedia Commons

Two hundred and two years after the birth of Henry William Ravenel, a 19th century South Carolina planter and botanist, a dedicated team from North Carolina and South Carolina universities and colleges has made his manuscripts and collections available online.

Still Life: books and desk

All history is “local history” to someone. And the preservation, interpretation, and presentation of local history rest on the efforts of countless individuals in communities around the Palmetto State. This week, Dr. Edgar talks with three individuals who know well what it takes to discover and preserve the history of local communities: Dr. Eric Emerson, Director of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History; Don Mathis, President of the Lee County Historical Society; and Janson Cox, former director of the SC Cotton Museum.

The Cantaloupe Thief

Oct 12, 2016

In the new novel, The Cantaloupe Thief (2016, Lion Fiction), protagonist Branigan Powers decides that too many people are staying silent about a ten-year-old murder case. Powers, an journalist, knows a good story when she sees one—and the ten-year-old cold case of wealthy Alberta Grambling Resnick's murder definitely makes the cut. Now Branigan must do some serious digging to get her story.

Hobcaw Barony is a 16,000 acre tract on the Waccamaw Neck, between the Winyah Bay and the Atlantic Ocean in Georgetown County, SC. Once owned by the investor, philanthropist, presidential advisor, and South Carolina native Bernard M. Baruch, the property was used as a hunting preserve between 1905 and 1907. It is now owned and operated by the non-profit Belle W. Baruch Foundation as a site for research in the environmental sciences.

Walter Edgar's Journal Pre-empted

Sep 26, 2016

Walter Edgar's Journal will be pre-empted Sep 30 and Oct 02 for special programming.

Dr. Charles Joyner
Courtesy of Coastal Carolina University

Becoming Southern Writers: Essays in Honor of Charles Joyner (2016, USC Press) is a collection of essays that pay tribute to the late South Carolinian Charles Joyner’s more than fifty years as a writer of Southern history, folklore, music and literature. (Dr. Joyner died on Tuesday, September 13, 2016.) The contributors, exceptional writers of fact, fiction, and poetry, describe their experiences of living in and writing about the South.

Molly Pitcher, long one of the few images an American Woman active in the Revolution, is likely a composite image inspired by the actions of several real women.
Currier & Ives, via Wikimedia Commons

  In her book, Revolutionary Mothers: Women and the Struggle for American Independence (2015, Knopf) Dr. Carol Berkin makes the argument that the American Revolution is a story of both women and men. Women played an active and vital role in the war; although history books have often greatly minimized or completely left out the contributions of women in the creation of our nation, or greatly romanticized their role.

Detail from "The Reserve in Summer." (Alice Ravenel Huger Smith)
Gibbes Museum

  The Middleton Place Foundation is helping to share the artistic legacy of Charleston Renaissance artist Alice Ravenel Huger Smith with exhibits at the Middleton Place House Museum and the Edmondston-Alston House, a Smith exhibit from October 23, 2016, to June 17, 2017.

Garden...and Gun?

Aug 29, 2016
Garden and Gun logo
Garden and Gun magazine

    Yes, Garden & Gun--a magazine that covers “the best of the South,” including the sporting culture, the food, the music, the art, the literature, the people and their ideas. With a national audience of more than one million passionate and engaged readers, the magazine has won numerous awards for its journalism, design, and overall excellence.

North Inlet - Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Aerial view of meandering tidal creeks and extensive pristine marshes in North Inlet Estuary. Vicinity of Georgetown, South Carolina.
NOAA Photo Library/Flickr

(Originally broadcast 10/30/16) - Dr.Maria Whitehead is Project Director of Winyah Bay and Pee Dee River Basin for The Nature Conservancy. Winyah Bay is comprised of 525,000 total acres and encompasses the lower drainage of the Black, Big Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee, Sampit, and Waccamaw rivers.

This vital watershed sustains 123,000 acres of forested wetlands and 23,000 acres of tidal freshwater marshes that support the annual use of up to 40,000 migratory waterfowl, 6 federally threatened and endangered species, and numerous species of migratory songbirds. 

We Are Charleston

Aug 18, 2016
Bernard Powers, Marjory Wentworth, and Herb Fraizer, authors of We Are Charleston.
Jack Alterman

  This week’s guests on Walter Edgar's Journal are the authors of the book We Are Charleston (2016 Thomas Nelson), a multi-layered exploration of the tragic events experienced by South Carolina’s famed Mother Emanuel in June of 2015.

Early American Flag

(Originally broadcast 04/08/16) -  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.

Dr. William J. Cooper, Jr.
Louisiana State University

  (Originally broadcast 02/07/15) -In an encore from the 2015 series, Conversations on the Civil War, sponsored by the University of South Carolina’s College of Arts and Humanities, William Cooper talks with Walter Edgar about the life of Jefferson Davis, an American soldier and politician who became president of the Confederate States of America. 

Art and Craft

Jul 25, 2016
Bill Thompson
SC Book Festival

(Originally broadcast 03/25/16) - 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.

Johnny D. Boggs
Courtesy of the author

  (Originally broadcast 11/20/2015) - Timmonsville native and Santa Fe resident Johnny D. Boggs He talks with Walter Edgar about his latest novel, The Cane Creek Regulators (Five Star, 2014), which is set in a time when the western "frontier" of South Carolina included the Upstate.

Boggs has called "[one of] the best western writers at work today." He has won the prestigious Spur Award from Western Writers of America six times. He's also the author of numerous non-fiction articles about the American West.

European Union flag

  (Originally broadcast 02/12/16) - 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. Catholicism for centuries promoted the universality of the Church and the essential unity of Christendom.

The War the South Won

Jul 4, 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

(Originally broadcast 03/04/16) - 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.


Jun 27, 2016
Dr. Mark M. Smith
University of South Carolina

  (Originally broadcast 07/05/13) - Dr. Mark Smith, Carolina Distinguished Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, takes part in this discussion of the battle of Gettysburg, which marked the beginning of the end of the Confederate States’ rebellion in the American Civil War.

Betsy Fleming
Courtesy Converse College

  Betsy Fleming, outgoing president of Converse College in Spartanburg, talks with Walter Edgar about her 11 years leading the 125-year-old institution dedicated to offering women a high quality, liberal arts education. Fleming became President of Converse in October 2005.  After reducing the tuition by 43 percent, the school became a national leader in affordability and value. Fleming has said that the tuition reset was an important marker in transforming the college's future.

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.