By Paul A. Levengood
On the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in the New World, Virginia has become an icon of ingenuity, progress, and prosperity. To the colonists stepping ashore at Jamestown, however, the future was far from certain. To them, the region was a desperately beautiful, dangerous prize, an unknown commodity sought primarily for the profits that might be made. Virginia: Catalyst of Commerce for Four Centuries takes readers on a vivid journey through the centuries as Virginians face and overcome daunting odds, setting the stage for the America that was to come. From the starving time and growth of tobacco plantations to the first stirrings of industry, we go behind the scenes to watch resolute settlers shape Virginia into the wealthiest North American colony and then break with Britain as thoughts of liberty supercede those of loyalty. We watch the business community s valiant attempt to keep Virginia out of the Civil War, and then the urban boosters whose pro-business agenda helps put their cities back together in its wake. Levengood guides us through the remarkable growth of industry as the nation gears up for two world wars, and the success of those industries in stabilizing the economy long after the wars end. As the Commonwealth enters the new millennium, Levengood shows us a Virginia that has become a leader in the global marketplace. With esteemed universities, brilliant minds, and passionate leadership, the Commonwealth continues to move forward. Residents today find they are living in the best-managed state in the nation (a fact validated by the Pew Charitable Trusts), a center of advanced technology, and a spectacular destination. What began as a promise in 1607 has unfolded into thrilling reality. Virginia: Catalyst of Commerce for Four Centuries presents Virginia s story, one of enduring values and breathtaking changes.
200 pages, Hardcover, ISBN 978-1882933778, Cherbo Publishing Group, 2007.
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