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NewSouth mourns the passing of Paul Gaston of Fairhope, esteemed Southern historian

We are sorry to share news of the passing of Paul M. Gaston, civil rights activist and esteemed Southern historian, who died last month at the age of 91. NewSouth enjoyed a long friendship with Gaston, forged over many years and glasses of wine, which extended across the publication of a half dozen of his books. Our relationship with him began in the early days of NewSouth Books, when Gaston had already changed the lives of dozens of students through his astute observations on the true character of the South and in his activities at the University of Virginia. Gaston was both a superb writer and thinker. He leaves behind many influential works, among them The New South Creed: A Study in Southern Mythmaking, now considered a classic. This brilliant work tackles the ways in which socially constructed realities shape historical understanding. Other titles by Gaston include Coming of Age in Utopia, his memoir; Man and Mission: E.B. Gaston and the Origins of the Fairhope Single Tax Colony; and Women of Fair Hope. Historians in Service of a Better South, also published by NewSouth, is a collection of essays written in Gaston’s honor, to which such leading historians as Ed Ayers, Matthew Lassiter, Robert J. Norrell, and many others contributed. This UVA memoriam speaks powerfully to Gaston’s legacy: