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Size: 6 x 9
Pages: 328
Illustrations: 34 b&w halftones

Southern History
South Carolina History & Culture
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"Our Country First, Then Greenville"

A New South City during the Progressive Era and World War I

Courtney L. Tollison Hartness

Published: Jun 15 2023


Published: Jun 15 2023


Published: Jun 15 2023

OA Ebook
Published: Jun 15 2023


The inclusion of this book in the Open Carolina collection is made possible by the generous funding of

Places Greenville's experience during World War I within the context of the progressive era to better understand the rise of this New South city

Greenville, South Carolina has become an attractive destination, frequently included in lists of the "Best Small Cities" in America. While Greenville's twenty-first-century Renaissance has been impressive, in "Our Country First, Then Greenville," Courtney L. Tollison Hartness explores an earlier period, revealing how Greenville's experience during World War I served to generate massive development in the city and the region. It was this moment that catalyzed Greenville's development into a modern city, setting the stage for the continued growth that persists into the present-day.

"Our Country First, Then Greenville" explores Greenville's home-front experience of race relations, dramatic population growth (the number of Greenville residents nearly tripled between 1900 and 1930s), the women's suffrage movement, and the contributions of African Americans and women to Greenville's history. This important work features photos of Greenville, found in archival collections throughout the country and dating back over one hundred years.

Listen to Courtney Tollison Hartness on South Carolina Public Radio's Walter Edgar's Journal

Courtney L. Tollison Hartness is Distinguished University Public Historian and Scholar at Furman University.

"With this examination of Greenville, South Carolina, Tollison Hartness delivers much more than a fascinating community study. This book brings to life the interplay of urban expansion in the midst of the social, cultural, and political milieu of World War I and of the Progressive Era. Essential for those interested in race relations, women's rights, and boosterism in a New South city, it is also a thoughtful, rewarding, and essential contribution to the history of the early twentieth century, and of South Carolina. Tollison Hartness groundbreakingly incorporates the contributions of African Americans and women and offers the first published history of the woman's suffrage movement in Greenville. This work will also appeal to those in the general public interested in how events of the past contribute to and shape our present."—Orville Vernon Burton, Judge Matthew J. Perry Distinguished Professor of History, Clemson University and author of The Age of Lincoln and co-author of Justice Deferred: Race and the Supreme Court

""Our Country First, Then Greenville" is an outstanding account of the city's emergence into the modern era and a valuable contribution to the history of the American South in the years surrounding the First World War."—M. Ryan Floyd, Chair/History Education Coordinator, Department of History and Philosophy, Lander University

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