The Price of Permanence: Nature and Business in the New South

Marriott Conference Center C

Sunday, 2:30-3:15

Using the lens of environmental history, William D. Bryan provides a sweeping reinterpretation of the post–Civil War South by framing the New South as a struggle over environmental stewardship. Bryan writes the region into the national conservation movement for the first time and shows that business leaders played a key role shaping the ideals of American conservationists. This book also dismantles one of the most persistent caricatures of southerners: that they had little interest in environmental quality.


William D. Bryan

Will Bryan is an historian and author in Atlanta. He received a Ph.D. in 2013 from Penn State, and his research explores the story of land, water, and wildlife conservation in the United States. Will's writing has appeared in publications that include The Washington Post, Atlanta's Saporta Report, Southern Cultures, Edge Effects, and Environmental History. His first book, The Price of Permanence, which is based on his award-winning Ph.D. dissertation, was published by the University of Georgia Press. He is finishing his second book, which explores the origins of ecotourism and its effects on people and landscapes in the United States and the developing world. As an educator, Will has taught more than two dozen classes on the college level at Penn State, Emory, and Georgia State University. Will currently works at the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA), where he does research and analysis to support SEEA's initiatives. You can learn more about Will's work at his website


Laura McCarty

Laura McCarty is President of Georgia Humanities, effective February 1, 2018. She became part of the Georgia Humanities team as program assistant in 1994, and she has subsequently led the grant program, National History Day Georgia, the New Georgia Encyclopedia, and Museum on Main Street tours. Laura also served as deputy to Jamil Zainaldin, with responsibilities for planning, fundraising, cultivation of partnerships, and advocacy. Laura McCarty is a past president the Georgia Council for the Social Studies and the Georgia Association of Historians, as well as a past Board member of the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries, the Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land, and the Kiwanis Club of Atlanta. She also serves on the Board of Selections for Georgia Women of Achievement. She is author of Coretta Scott King: a Biography (Greenwood/ABC-Clio, 2009), as well as over 30 articles for the New Georgia Encyclopedia ( ). A native of South Carolina, Laura McCarty holds the MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Georgia and the BA in English and French from Wofford College, where she also was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Laura McCarty lives in Decatur with her husband, Phillip. She is a member and part of the leadership team for North Decatur United Methodist Church.