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The most inclusive history of North Carolina to date. In the last three decades, North Carolina has witnessed a remarkable growth in population, ecomic development, and political importance, and it w ranks as the tenth most populous state in the Union. The Tar Heel State: A History of North Carolina constitutes the most comprehensive and inclusive single-volume chronicle of the state's storied past to date, culminating with an attentive look at recent events that have transformed North Carolina into a southern mega state. The first such volume in more than two decades, Milton Ready's work offers a distinctive view of the state's history that integrates tales of famous pioneers, statesmen, soldiers, farmers, captains of industry, and community leaders with more marginalized voices, including those of Native Americans, African Americans, and women. Ready gives readers a view of North Carolina that encompasses perspectives from the coast, tobacco road, the Piedmont, and the mountains. Ready revisits dramatic struggles of the American Revolution and Civil War, the early history of Cherokees, the rise of industrial mills, and the changes wrought by modern information-based techlogies since 1970. Mixing spirited anecdotes and illustrative statistics, Ready describes the rich Native American culture found by John White in 1585, the chartered chaos of North Carolina's proprietary settlement, and the chronic distrust of government that grew out of settlement patterns and the colony's early political ecomy. He challenges the perception of relaxed intellectualism attributed to the Rip van Winkle state, the tion that slavery was a benign institution in North Carolina, and the commonly accepted interpretation of Reconstruction in the state. Ready also discusses how the suffrage movement pushed North Carolina into a hesitant twentieth-century progressivism. In perhaps his most significant contribution to North Carolina's historical record, Ready continues his narrative past the benchmark of World War II and into the twenty-first century. From the civil rights struggle to the building of research triangles, triads, and parks, Ready recounts the events that have fueled North Carolina's accelerated development in recent years and the many challenges that have accompanied such rapid growth.
Milton Ready is professor emeritus of history at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The author of books on Georgia and North Carolina history, he received the E. Merton Coulter Award for his writing of Georgia history. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Georgia. Ready lives in the mountains of western North Carolina.