CHARLESTON, SC --- Paul Starobin will present and discuss his new book, Madness Rules the Hour, at the Blue Bicycle Books Charleston Author Series on Friday, April 21 at High Cotton Restaurant in downtown Charleston. The historically significant book and event will be filmed and aired by C-SPAN.
In Madness Rules the Hour, 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.
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.
They devoured the Mercury, then an 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.
The book is published by PublicAffairs, an imprint of Perseus Book. It was a STARRED REVIEW by Kirkus Reviews. It was also favorably reviewed by Library Journal, Evan Thomas, author of Being Nixon, James M. McPherson, author of Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom, Harold Holzer, winner of the Lincoln Prize, Alex Beam, columnist for the Boston Globe and author of The Feud, Marc Wortman, author of The Bonfire and 1941, James M. McPherson, author of Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom, and Harold Holzer, winner of the Lincoln Prize.
Starobin has been a frequent contributor to The Atlantic. He was Moscow Bureau Chief for Business Week from 1999 to 2003 and has also written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and National Geographic. He is the author of After America: Narratives for the Next Global Age.
Starobin has reported from Russia, India, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Middle East, Europe and South America. Previous positions include reporter for Congressional Quarterly in Washington, business reporter for The Lowell Sun in Massachusetts, and public-policy case writer for the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
He grew up in Worcester, Mass. and graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. Starobin received a Masters of Science degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was an international journalism fellow for the Knight Foundation journalism program.
High Cotton restaurant is located at 199 East Bay Street. Journalists may interview and photograph Mr. Starobin from 11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. on the day of the event, and receive a promotion code for discounted luncheon tickets. Call 843-303-1113 to reserve.