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Available August 24, 2013! Rockbridge County, Virginia: home and burial place of General Robert E. Lee and General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. Home to Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute ... and Natural Bridge, once owned by Thomas Jefferson and surveyed by George Washington. These are the backdrop of "Remarkable Rockbridge," the most comprehensive history ever written of this historically and educationally significant community. The result of eight years of research and writing, this abundantly illustrated book looks briefly at the area's pre- and early history, but its main focus begins in the 18th century when waves of Ulster-Scot immigrants arrived from Pennsylvania. "Rockbridge" vividly shows how regional and national events influenced - and were affected by - ordinary (and some not-so-ordinary) people in a small village that grew to become an important center of history ... of education and culture ... of agriculture and scenic splendor. More than 130 illustrations grace the book, including a number of photographs by Michael Miley, "General Lee's photographer." Its engaging narrative style belies the depth of its scholarship: it has 46 pages of footnotes. The cover photo, of House Mountain, a Rockbridge icon, was taken by Miley about 1880. "Remarkable Rockbridge" is an important addition to any library - personal or institutional - that focuses on Lee, Jackson, issues that framed the Civil War, and, perhaps most of all, how regional, national and global trends affected individual people, neighborhoods, hamlets, towns - and of how profoundly those trends and events changed a rural county over three centuries. Charles A. Bodie, the author, is a graduate of William & Mary and earned his Ph.D. in American history from Indiana University. "Remarkable Rockbridge," at $24.95 plus shipping (and sales tax in Virginia), looks great on any coffee table. It's the ideal holiday stocking stuffer or hospitality gift.
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