Joseph Kelly is a professor of literature at the College of Charleston and a member of the American Studies Association. He is the author of America's Longest Siege Charleston, Slavery, and the Slow March Toward Civil War, and the editor of the Seagull Reader series. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina.
[A] stimulating history of Jamestown . . . a superb portrait of the founding, combining brilliant detail with epic sweep. --Starred review, Publishers Weekly An insightful re-examination of the 1607 Jamestown settlement . . . Kelly's lively, heavily researched, frequently gruesome account gives a slight nod to Jamestown as the 'better place to look for the genesis of American ideals.' --Starred review, Kirkus Reviews The U.S. loves its creation myths, and this mythmaking, myth-breaking history gives us a new character, Stephen Hopkins... Though Hopkins and those like him left few records, Kelly fleshes out the available glimpses with a vivid, detailed description of the settlement and its English and Native American contexts...Kelly's dynamic narrative brings Jamestown to life and shows how history reflects the present as well as the past. --starred review, Booklist Kelly has woven a tapestry that is so dense in detail and so richly colored that it may become a kind of Bayeux Tapestry of the history of Jamestown. --The Roanoke Times Despite the volume of this book and the controversial interpretations, it makes a fast easy adventure in reading. It includes the familiar such as John Smith but so much else. --Robert S. Davis, New York Journal of Books Most amazing new book on early Virginia. --Anthony Comegna, Liberty Chronicles podcast For historians interested in the challenges of colonization, this groundbreaking work will be well received. --John Muller, Library Journal