Walter Edgar's Journal

From books to barbecue, from current events to colonial history, Walter Edgar's Journal delves into the arts, culture, history of South Carolina and the American South.

Friday at noon on all South Carolina ETV Radio stations. Repeats Sunday at 4:00 pm on ETV Radio’s News Stations. Podcasts are published each Friday. Stream the podcasts below or subscribe to the podcast OR subscribe with iTunes.

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.

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.

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.

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


At Home - Charleston

Nov 23, 2015
Colonial style window
iStock photo © Massimo Fanelli

  (Originally broadcast 05/08/15 - In Catherine H. Forrester’s At Home-Charleston (Wimmer Cookbooks, 2006), the historic Thomas Rose House serves as the stunning backdrop to the intriguing tales of Forrester’s grandmother Juliette Wiles Staats’ entertaining and the distinctive social traditions of one of America’s most celebrated cities.

Gathering lively tidbits from Staats’ meticulous records—handwritten file cards, detailed party books and hand bound journals, Forrester leads readers into the peninsula’s private world of elegant entertaining. Cathy Forrester talks with Dr. Edgar about the book, her family, and life in Charleston.

All Stations: Fri, Nov 27, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Nov 29, 4 pm


Johnny D. Boggs
Courtesy of the author

 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.

All Stations: Friday, Nov 20, 12 pm | News Stations: Sunday, Nov 22, 4 pm 


  (Originally broadcast 03/20/15) --- In a remarkable reappraisal of Lincoln, the distinguished historian O. Vernon Burton shows how the president’s authentic Southernness empowered him to conduct a civil war that redefined freedom as a personal right to be expanded to all Americans. In the violent decades to follow, the extent of that freedom would be contested but not its central place in what defined the country.

This conversation was recorded before a live audience as part of the series Conversations on the Civil War, sponsored by the University of South Carolina’s College of Arts and Humanities and Institute for Southern Studies.

--- All Stations: Fri, Aug 21, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Aug 23, 4 pm ---


Walter Edgar's Journal Pre-empted this Week

May 1, 2015

  Walter Edgar's Journal is pre-empted Friday, May 1 and Sunday, May 3 (News Stations)  by the ETV Radio special Women in Public Media. The Journal will return May 15 and 17.

Dr. John Marzsalek
Mississippi State University

--- All Stations: Fri, Apr 10, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Apr 12, 4 pm ---   In his book, Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion for Order (Free Press, 1992) John F. Marszalek presents general William Tecumseh Sherman as a complicated man who, fearing anarchy, searched for the order that he hoped would make his life a success.

Dr. Marszalek talks with Dr. Edgar about Sherman as a military commander who came to abhor what he saw as the senseless slaughter of the War, and who sought a different strategy to bring the South to surrender.

Dr. Mark M. Smith
University of South Carolina

Dr. Mark M. Smith, of the University of South Carolina, returns to The Journal to talk about his book The Smell of Battle, the Taste of Siege: A Sensory History of the Civil War (Oxford University Press, 2014). No other book has looked at the Civil War through the prism of the five senses, or considered their impact on various groups of indviduals.

  The story of Catholic Hill in the Colleton County town of Ritter serves as a metaphor for black Catholics in South Carolina. While the Catholic Hill experience is unique in many respects, it is emblematic of the struggle for the faith in the way that the people of Catholic Hill maintained their identity despite decades of hardship and neglect.” (Suzanne Krebsbach). Professor Allison McCletchie, of Claflin University, is leading a small team that is creating an ethnography of Catholic Hill. She joins Dr.

All Stations: Fri, Oct 3, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Oct 5, 4 pm 

Dr. Charles H. Lippy, the LeRoy A. Martin distinguished Professor of Religious Studies Emeritus at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and author of Religion in South Carolina will be giving a lecture in October at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Columbia, on How the Civil War Transformed Religion in South Carolina . He stops by our studios to preview the topic with Dr. Edgar.

The Other Brother

Sep 5, 2014

- Walter Edgar's JournalThe Other Brother is a film about the ‘genetics’ of art and sibling estrangement. The subject is art but the story is universal. Two brothers, estranged since 1948, share an exceptional bond. One is an art-world insider, and one lived alone in a world of art.

Hunter Kennedy

Aug 29, 2014

(Originally Broadcast 02/28/14) - Begun as an open letter to strangers and fellow misfits, The Minus Times grew to become a hand-typed literary magazine that showcased the next generation of American fiction. Contributors include Sam Lipsyte, David Berman, Patrick DeWitt, and Wells Tower, with illustrations by David Eggers and Brad Neely as well as interviews with Dan Clowes, Barry Hannah, and a yet-to-be-famous Stephen Colbert.

  “H” is for Historic Charleston Foundation [HCF]. The Historic Charleston Foundation sprang from the activities of the Carolina Art Association. In 1944, the association published This is Charleston, a survey of historic buildings. In 1947, HCF was incorporated as a separate organization to preserve buildings still occupied by their owners, instead of museums. To raise money, HCF sponsored its first Festival of Homes and saved important structures such as the Nathaniel Russell House.

Dr. Melissa Walker is the author of numerous books on the Civil War and is co-editor of Upcountry South Carolina Goes to War (USC Press, 2011). She talks with Dr. Walter Edgar about the role of “plain folk”—especially women—during the war.

This presentation was recorded at the University of South Carolina’s Capstone Conference Center, in Columbia, on January 28, and was part of the series “Conversations on the Civil War, 1864,” presented in January and February, 2014. The series is sponsored by the USC College of Arts and Sciences.

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