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South Carolina Fire-Eater: The Life of Laurence Massillon Keitt, 1824-1864 Hardcover – July 1, 2014

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Editorial Reviews


"Holt Merchant's biography of the South Carolina secessionist is as brisk and fast-paced as the life of Laurence Keitt himself. The author's dogged research does justice to this complex and critically important historical figure. Readers of this important study will find important new evidence of Keitt's congressional career, his sense of honor, his part in the Sumner-Brooks affair, his role during the secession winter and the creation of the Confederacy, and his military record, as well as a fascinating and touching treatment of Keitt's marriage and family. The biographer and his subject have finally met."-- Eric H. Walther, professor of history, University of Houston

"Perhaps the purest of the fire-eaters, Keitt fought earnestly for secession and won. He then fought with equal vigor for the Confederacy and died. Merchant's path-breaking biography is deeply researched and skillfully presented. A MUST read for anyone interested in the breakup of the young union."--James Robertson, author of Stonewall Jackson

About the Author

Holt Merchant, until he retired in 2013, was a professor and chair of the history department at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

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