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Mobile, Mobile, 0817310657, 0-8173-1065-7, 978-0-8173-1065-3, 9780817310653,

The New History of Alabama's First City
Edited by Michael V. R. Thomason

2001. 464 pp.
Price:  $49.95 s

This comprehensive new history of Mobile celebrates the rich heritage
of Alabama's oldest city and commemorates the city's tricentennial from
1702 to the present.

Alabama's oldest city from the period of European settlement was founded
in 1702 by French naval officer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville.
Bienville named the settlement after the nearby Maubila Indians and situated
it on the west side of the protected harbor now called Mobile Bay on the
Gulf of Mexico. During the colonial period, Mobile was occupied successively
by the French, British, and Spanish until it was seized by the Americans
in 1813. From this point on, the city quickly evolved from a trading post
into a prosperous river port, thanks to the cotton production of antebellum
Black Belt plantations.

After the defeat of the Confederacy, Mobile began to decline and Birmingham
took over as the economic leader of Alabama. During World War II, Mobile
experienced a second boom period as shipbuilding and defense industries
expanded and flourished. At the turn of the 21st century, as it celebrates
its tricentennial, Mobile remains an important American port city whoes economy has diversified to include oil, natural gas, and paper.

Mobile: The New History of Alabama's First City reassesses Mobile's
place in American history and celebrates its proud heritage. Recognized
scholars of Mobile history have collaborated to produce a highly readable,
richly illustrated narrative that showcases the great range of influences
on this bustling maritime city. Published in cooperation with the Mobile
Tricentennial Committee, this long-awaited book will be invaluable to historians
and general readers alike as it documents and interprets the first 300
years of a great and vital American city.



Michael V.R. Thomason is Professor of History at the University of South Alabama and Director of the University Archives in Mobile. He has authored and coauthored several books, including Trying Times and To Remember a Vanishing World, and is editor of the Gulf South Historical Review. Joe Langan, former mayor of Mobile, has been active in Alabama politics and has had a progressive influence on the state for more than 50 years.

"This is a first-rate history and also a story of epic quality: the unfolding of a unique city's genesis out of some of the fastest-moving and most turbulent episodes of American history."
—Native son Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University

2002 AAUP Book and Journal Show Scholarly Illustrated, sponsored by American Association of University Presses

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