Book talk set next week at Archives and History

Published 1:10 am Tuesday, November 22, 2016

On Wed., Nov. 30, at noon, Ed Bridges will present a book talk on his new bicentennial history Alabama: The Making of an American State at the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) in Montgomery.

1122-alabama-stateAlabama: The Making of an American State, released in the fall of 2016 by the University of Alabama Press, is a comprehensive, beautifully illustrated new resource for anyone seeking a broad understanding of Alabama history. With the approaching bicentennial of statehood in 2019, this book offers a fresh perspective on the unique social, political, economic, and cultural forces that have shaped our state. Bridges began work on the book soon after he retired as Director Emeritus from the ADAH in 2012 after serving 30 years as director. However, thinking about the structure and interpretive approach began much earlier as he was guiding the agency’s work in designing new Museum of Alabama exhibits. His purpose, Bridges said, was to offer a new resource for the bicentennial period because “our understanding of the past serves as a framework that guides us in the decisions that we make about the future.”

Bridges is a native of Georgia and a graduate of Furman University. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from the University of Chicago. In 1982, Bridges began his 30-year tenure at the helm of the ADAH where he built on the legacies of his predecessors and shaped the reputation of integrity and professionalism that are the cornerstones of the agency today. Bridges has served as president of the Alabama Historical Association, as well as a member of the Alabama Historical Commission, the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame, the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame, the Governor’s Mansion Advisory Board, and the Alabama Historical Records Advisory Board. He is a recipient of the Alabama Humanities Foundation’s Annual Humanities Award and has been inducted into Alabama Academy of Honor. He is co-author of Georgia’s Signers and the Declaration of Independence.

Copies of Alabama: The Making of an American State will be available for purchase at the presentation.

The Alabama Department of Archives and History is located in downtown Montgomery, directly across the street from the State Capitol. It is the state’s government records repository, special collections library and research facility, and is home to the Museum of Alabama, the state history museum. The Archives and Museum are open Monday through Saturday, 8:30 to 4:30. To learn more, visit or call (334) 242-4364.