In 1863, Union forces stormed the city of Charleston, South Carolina, and held the harbour hostage for nearly two years - the longest siege in the history of modern warfare. Yet a singular ideology of racism has laid a different sort of siege to the entire American South for two centuries prior. In this sweeping, provocative new history of the city and the times that ignited America's Civil War, author Joseph Kelly examines America's long struggle with slavery and the debates at its very centre.
Joseph Kelly is a professor of literature at the College of Charleston and a member of the American Studies Association. He is the author of Our Joyce and the editor of W. W. Norton's Seagull Readers series. His historical writing has appeared in the Journal of Social History and other publications. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina.