Join us Friday, April 21 at noon for Blue Bicycle Books Charleston Author Series luncheon at High Cotton, when we welcome former Moscow Bureau Chief for Business Week, Paul Starobin, for a discussion of his latest book, Madness Rules the Hour: Charleston, 1860 and the Mania for War.
“No city was more fervently attached to slavery, and no city was seen by the North as a greater threat to the bonds barely holding together the Union than Charleston.”
About the Book
In 1860, Charleston, South Carolina, embodied the combustible spirit of the South. No city was more fervently attached to slavery, and no city was seen by the North as a greater threat to the bonds barely holding together the Union. And so, with Abraham Lincoln’s election looming, Charleston’s leaders faced a climactic decision: they could submit to abolition–or they could drive South Carolina out of the Union and hope that the rest of the South would follow.
In Madness Rules the Hour, Paul Starobin tells the story of how Charleston succumbed to a fever for war and charts the contagion’s relentless progress and bizarre turns. In doing so, he examines the wily propagandists, the ambitious politicians, the gentlemen merchants and their wives and daughters, the compliant pastors, and the white workingmen who waged a violent and exuberant revolution in the name of slavery and Southern independence.
They devoured the Mercury, the incendiary newspaper run by a fanatical father and son; made holy the deceased John C. Calhoun; and adopted “Le Marseillaise” as a rebellious anthem. Madness Rules the Hour is a portrait of a culture in crisis and an insightful investigation into the folly that fractured the Union and started the Civil War.
Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and lunch is served promptly at noon. Limited seating provides an intimate experience with the author. There is a cash bar for your enjoyment. Click Here for Ticket Information.
High Cotton, owned and operated by the Hall Family, is located at 199 East Bay Street, where the luncheon and discussion will take place. Parking is available at the Cumberland Street Garage, other municipal lots or at meters on the street.