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Alabama Bookshelf

In this periodic feature, we highlight books either about Alabama people or events or written by Alabama authors. Summaries are not reviews or endorsements. We also occasionally highlight book-related events. Email submissions to Due to the volume of submissions, we are unable to feature all the books we receive.


Alabama: The History of a Deep South State, Bicentennial Edition, by William Warren Rogers, Robert David Ward, Leah Rawls Atkins and Wayne Flynt, University of Alabama Press, $39.95 (state history) The book, at 808 pages, is a comprehensive narrative account of the state from its earliest days to the present. This edition, updated to celebrate the state’s bicentennial, offers a detailed survey of the colorful, dramatic and often controversial turns in Alabama’s evolution.


Covered Bridges of Alabama, by Wil Elrick and Kelly Kazek, Arcadia Publishing and The History Press, $23.99 (history) From their beginning as practical modes of transportation to their status as romantic, picturesque walkways, Alabama’s covered bridges have stood the test of time. They’ve become historic attractions both to those in their surrounding communities and the tourists who visit


Rush, by Lisa Patton, St. Martin’s Press, $26.99 (novel) The book was inspired by the author’s real-life experiences as a sorority member at Alabama, and born after an encounter with one of the sorority’s beloved housekeepers. Bothered by the fact that the staff of these multimillion-dollar sorority houses usually have no health insurance or retirement benefits, Patton decided to write a book that while fictional, is a call to change in the traditions that allow race and pedigree to remain factors in the treatment of staff and potential new members.


Tuscaloosa: 200 Years in the Making, by G. Ward Hubbs, University of Alabama Press, $24.95 (city history) Full of illustrations and historical photos, the book focuses on six key turning points that dramatically altered the fabric of the city over the past two centuries. The narrative traces the city’s origins as a settlement on the banks of the Black Warrior River to its development as a hub of higher education and collegiate sports.


Baseball in Alabama: Tales of Hardball in the Heart of Dixie, by Doug Wedge, Arcadia Publishing and The History Press, $22.99 (sports) Though football reigns as the king of sports in Alabama, the state has made its mark with the country’s national pastime. Thirteen players with Alabama roots are enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, including all-time greats like Hank Aaron, Ozzie Smith and Satchel Paige.


Deep in the Piney Woods, Southeastern Alabama from Statehood to Civil War, 1800-1865, by Tommy Craig Brown, $39.95 (regional history) The piney woods of south central and southeastern Alabama, commonly known as the wiregrass, is one of the most understudied areas in Alabama history. The book highlights the area’s formation and settlement, economy, politics, race relations and its role in both the secession of the state and the Civil War.