2019 marks the sesquicentennial of Durham, North Carolina, which Duke University Press calls home. We’re excited to celebrate along with Durham by showcasing some of our local history titles.
We’re especially proud to publish the definitive history of Durham, Durham County by Jean Bradley Anderson. Revised and expanded in 2011, it is a sweeping history of Durham from the seventeenth century to the end of the twentieth. Moving beyond traditional local histories, which tend to focus on powerful families, Anderson integrates the stories of well-known figures with those of ordinary men and women, blacks and whites, to create a complex and fascinating portrait of Durham’s economic, political, social, and labor history. Drawing on extensive primary research, she examines the origins of the town of Durham and recounts the growth of communities around mills, stores, taverns, and churches in the century before the rise of tobacco manufacturing. She writes about the coming of the railroad; the connection between the Civil War and the rise of the tobacco industry; the Confederate surrender at Bennett Place; the relocation of Trinity College to Durham and, later, its renaming as Duke University; and the growth of health-service and high-technology industries in the decades after the development of Research Triangle Park.
In Lending Power, Howard E. Covington Jr. examines the history of a Durham institution, the Self-Help Credit Union. First established to assist workers displaced by closed furniture and textile mills, Self-Help created a credit union that expanded into providing home loans for those on the margins of the financial market, especially people of color and single mothers. Using its own lending record, Self-Help convinced commercial banks to follow suit, extending its influence well beyond North Carolina. In 1999 its efforts led to the first state law against predatory lending. A decade later, as the Great Recession ravaged the nation’s economy, its legislative victories helped influence the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Covington is also the author of Terry Sanford: Politics, Progress, and Outrageous Ambitions. Sanford was a U.S. Senator, Governor of North Carolina, and then President of Duke University.
The Dukes of Durham, 1865-1929 by Robert F. Durden looks at the history of several towering Durham figures: industrialist and philanthropist Washington Duke and two of his sons, Benjamin Newton Duke and James Buchanan Duke. Lasting Legacy to the Carolinas, also by Durden, tells about the James B. Duke’s founding of the Duke Endowment, which funded Trinity College in Durham and led it to change its name to Duke University in 1924. Robert F. Durden was an important Durham figure in his own right; when he died in 2016, Duke lowered their flags to half-mast in honor of his contributions chronicling the history of the university and the region.
To celebrate Durham’s birthday, we are offering all these titles for 50% off throughout 2019. Use the coupon code DURHAM when ordering from our site.
Learn more about Durham’s history and all the celebrations this year at the Durham 150 site. Visit the Museum of Durham History for special exhibitions all year. And check out Preservation Durham for fascinating pictures of historic locations around the city as well as schedules for their great walking tours. Happy Birthday, Durham!