Alabama: The Making of an American State is itself a watershed event in the long and storied history of the state of Alabama. Here, presented for the first time ever in a single, magnificently illustrated volume, Edwin C. Bridges conveys the magisterial sweep of Alabama’s rich, difficult, and remarkable history with verve, eloquence, and an unblinking eye.

From Alabama’s earliest fossil records to its settlement by Native Americans and later by European settlers and African slaves, from its territorial birth pangs and statehood through the upheavals of the Civil War and the civil rights movement, Bridges makes evident in clear, direct storytelling the unique social, political, economic, and cultural forces that have indelibly shaped this historically rich and unique American region.

Illustrated lavishly with maps, archival photographs, and archaeological artifacts, as well as art works, portraiture, and specimens of Alabama craftsmanship—many never before published—Alabama: The Making of an American State highlights Alabama’s most significant struggles, conflicts, achievements, and developments.

Drawn from decades of research and the deep archival holdings of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, this volume will be the definitive resource for decades to come for anyone seeking a broad understanding of Alabama’s evolving legacy.

Edwin C. Bridges
served as the director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History for thirty years and is the coauthor of Georgia’s Signers and the Declaration of Independence.

“We have long needed Alabama, and who better to write it than Edwin Bridges, director emeritus of the Alabama Department of Archives and History? His well-balanced and magnificently illustrated account of the state’s history is just a delightful—if sometimes sobering—read.”
—G. Ward Hubbs, author of Searching for Freedom after the Civil War: Klansman, Carpetbagger, Scalawag, and Freedman and Guarding Greensboro: A Confederate Company in the Making of a Southern Community

“In beautiful and concise prose that understands the heart of the state, this story traces the successes and failures of Alabama and its people and, more importantly, explains why events played out as they did. The full-color illustrations and maps make it the first adult history of Alabama to be so richly illustrated.”
—Leah Rawls Atkins, coauthor of Alabama: The History of a Deep South State

Published in cooperation with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission

264 pages / 167 color figures / 122 B&W figures / 19 maps
ISBN: 978-0-8173-1942-7 Cloth
ISBN: 978-0-8173-5876-1 Paper
ISBN: 978-0-8173-9084-6 Ebook