Clemson alumnus to discuss book on John C. Calhoun

Clemson alumnus Robert Elder, associate professor of history at Baylor University, will speak on his book “Calhoun: American Heretic” at 6 p.m. Friday, September 15, at the Self Auditorium in the Strom Thurmond Institute.

Elder’s visit is hosted by the office of the Clemson University Historian and the Department of Historic Properties. The presentation will be followed by a conversation between Elder and Clemson professor Vernon Burton, about John C. Calhoun’s complicated legacy in American history and in the history of Clemson University.

“Bob Elder is the perfect person to lead us in this conversation. He is one the finest young historians working today, and he has studying Calhoun for more than 20 years,” said University Historian Otis Pickett, who was a classmate of Elder’s at Clemson. “He and I sat in Dr. Paul Anderson’s class on the Era of Jefferson, Jackson and Calhoun together as undergraduates in Clemson 20 years ago and now he is coming home to help lead our Clemson community on a discussion of Calhoun and his legacy.”

Elder earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Clemson and a Ph.D. in history from Emory University. At Baylor, he teaches courses on the American South, the Early Republic and the Civil War.

“Calhoun: American Heretic” was the winner of the Laney Book Prize from the Austin Civil War Roundtable and was a finalist for the Plutarch Award for Best Biography of the Year and for the George C. Rogers Book Award. The book examines Calhoun’s life and legacy and the impact that his views continue to have on the political climate today.