Adam Tate’s new book “Catholics’ Lost Cause” is a welcome addition to the scholarship on the history of religion in the South. Tate explores the efforts of three antebellum Catholic bishops, John England, Ignatius Reynolds and Patrick Lynch, to convince Southerners, and South Carolinians in particular, that Catholics were good Americans as well as good Southerners.

Author Patrick K. O'Donnell's "Band of Brothers"-style chronicle details the exploits of various aggregates of Maryland's citizen soldiers, not only the 400 men who saved the army from annihilation at the Battle of Brooklyn, but those who turned the tide in many a critical battle, becoming the first elite unit of the Continental army. Fighting in both North and South, these “Immortals” proved to be Gen. George Washington's most trusted force.


Playing two of the greatest female roles ever offered in film, Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind" and Blanche DuBois in "A Streetcar Named Desire," has guaranteed actress Vivien Leigh a place in popular culture. Yet her stage work, often overlooked by her film fans, may have been the true showcase of her talent.

There is no one in American letters quite like Maria Popova. In a world of short attention spans, she pens long essays that bridge centuries of scientific discovery, philosophical wondering and poetic expression. Yet she always crosses the bridge back to the present moment and shows how universal the questions really are.

Here is a modest proposal. Climate scientists should shut up about global warming. The gatekeepers for what we know and think about climate change should take a vow of silence and let some other people get a word in edgeways. Because, important though the science is, we need to stop defining the great issue of the 21st century in scientific terms.

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It was one of the bloodiest episodes of the civil rights movement, and it changed South Carolina's reputation when it came to race relations. It was no longer known as a moderate state that had avoided the violent confrontations seen in Mississippi and Alabama.

Ever wondered what it might be like to weigh 460 pounds? To stand on a crowded subway and worry that if you fall you might crush someone to death? Those daily struggles faced by longtime Charlotte Observer columnist Tommy Tomlinson are the subject of his powerful new memoir, “The Elephant in the Room.”