Program Coordinator of History Dr. Scott Huffard’s new book Engines of Redemption: Railroads and Reconstruction of New South Capitalism will be released by UNC Press on Wednesday, Dec. 4, and celebrated during a book signing the same day at 7 p.m. in Evans Auditorium at the Cannon Student Center of Lees-McRae College.

His book, “Exam[ines] the rapid growth, systemization, and consolidation of the southern railroad network…demonstra[ting] how economic and political elites used the symbolic power of the railroad to proclaim a New South had risen. The railroad was more than just an economic engine of growth; it was a powerful symbol of capitalism’s advance,” according to Huffard.

Presented by the Stephenson Center for Appalachia, the book signing on Dec. 4 will feature a brief reading by Huffard followed by a signing—books will be available for purchase through The Exchange Bookstore.

Huffard earned his Bachelor of Arts at Pennsylvania State University and both his Master of Arts and doctoral degree from the University of Florida. He commonly teaches courses in U.S. history, foundations of world civilizations, the American Civil War, and history of the South, among others. His research focuses on the expansion, consolidation, and systemization of railroads in the South in the decades after the Civil War.

For more information call 828-898-5241 or online at