by John Maginnis
The story of Edwin Edwards in his prime, out to recapture the governor's office in the 1983 election. Follow him on his wild and hilarious campaign odyssey through the backroads of Louisiana politics, past federal investigators, ward-healing preachers, nervous bodyguards and high-rolling pols and pretenders, all scrambling for a place on the Last Hayride.
A Lesson Before Dying examines the relationship established between two men in a rural Louisiana parish in the 1940s. One man, Jefferson, is convicted of murder and sentenced to die in the electric chair. The other man, Grant Wiggins, is the local schoolteacher. The book is told from the point of view of Grant.
By John C. Rodrigue
John C. Rodrigue (Department of History, Louisiana State University) focuses on an exceptional corner of the southern economy during the Civil War and the decade and a half following the conflict's conclusion. The sugar industry of Louisiana was not only unique in national terms since sugar production was confined largely just to that single state, but more significantly, according to Rodrigue, because circumstances unique to sugar production created conditions which would lead its postwar labor system to follow a different road than the much larger cotton South.