Originally established in 1775 the town of Lexington, Kentucky grew quickly into a national cultural center amongst the rolling green hills of the Bluegrass Region. Nicknamed the "Athens of the West," Lexington and the surrounding area became a leader in higher education, visual arts, architecture, and music, and the center of the horse breeding and racing industries. The national impact of the Bluegrass was further confirmed by prominent Kentucky figures such as Henry Clay and John C. Breckinridge.
Bluegrass Renaissance: The History and Culture of Central Kentucky, 1792-1852, chronicles Lexington's development as one of the most important educational and cultural centers in America during the first half of the nineteenth century. Editors Daniel Rowland and James C. Klotter gather leading scholars to examine the successes and failures of Central Kentuckians from statehood to the death of Henry Clay, in an investigation of the area's cultural and economic development and national influence. Bluegrass Renaissance is an interdisciplinary study of the evolution of Lexington's status as antebellum Kentucky's cultural metropolis.
"Winner of the Clay Lancaster Heritage Education Award given by the Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation" --
""This excellent collectiotn of essays seeks to address an important, but understudied, time priod in Kentucky history during which Lexington and its surrounding areas were at their zenith both culturally and economically. This is a highly readable volume that should appeal to any person interested in the state's history, that should become the standard 'go-to' text on this era in Kentucky for many years to come."--Anne Marshall, author of Creating a Confederate Kentucky: The Lost Cause and Civil War Memory in a Border State" --
"The essays well testify to the breadth and high quality of work being undertaken on early Kentucky." -- Matthew G. Schoenbachler, author of Murder and Madness: The Myth of the Kentucky Tragedy
"These excellent essays now comprise the most comprehensive view of Lexington's golden age in all its many facets while extorting the individuals who molded it into something great. In the end one understands why Lexington had a Latrobe house -- the most sophisticated house designed in federal America -- for it symbolized an earned preeminence. In time its preeminence faded but in these essays Lexington continues to teach us by revealing its strengths and weaknesses its success and failures which speak to our own." -- John E. Kleber, editor of The Kentucky Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Louisville
"Recipient of Clay Lancaster Herritage Education Award for their service in researching and disseminating information about Central Kentucky." -- Lexington Herald-Leader
"Taken as a whole, the collection is a treasure trove of references for the student of Kentucky history, and it introduces new fields of research and reflection. It is a great addition to the historiography and a welcome complement to earlier edited collections published by the University Press of Kentucky." -- Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
"[...] The well-crafted and well-researched essays illuminate the unique culture that flourished in the Central Bluegrass region during the antebellum era. Individuals who research and teach Kentucky history in the state's universities and public schools will find in these chapters a wealth of information and insight to share with their classes. Bluegrass Renaissance is an exemplary book, a credit to its publisher. The essays within its covers add to our understanding of the antebellum cultural milieu that made the Bluegrass frontier an exciting and unique region." -- Indiana Magazine of History