Potomac Fever


Available Mar 11, 2025

272 pages

Trade Paper

List Price US $17.99
ISBN: 9781954276345


ISBN: 9781954276352

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“Fryar seamlessly weaves a fascinating history of racial, class, and gendered divisions that exist in and outside of Washington, D.C.’s quintessential worlds of interrelated nature and American (in)humanity.”

Marcie Cohen Ferris, coeditor of Southern Cultures journal and author of The Edible South

As she walks the length of the Potomac River, clambering up its banks and sounding its depths, Charlotte Taylor Fryar examines the geography and ecology of Washington, D.C. with all manner of flora and fauna as her witness. The ecological traces of human inhabitancy provide her with imaginative access into America’s past, for her true subject is the origin of our splintered nation and racially divided capital.

From the gentrified neighborhood of Shaw to George Washington’s slave labor camp at Mount Vernon, Potomac Fever maps the troubled histories of the United States by leading us along the less-trafficked trails and side streets of our capital city, steeped in the legacy of white supremacy and colonialism. In the end, Fryar offers hope for how “we might grow a society guided by the ethics and values of the places we live.”

A compelling synthesis of historical, environmental, and personal narrative, Potomac Fever exposes the roots of our national myths, awash in the waters of America’s renowned river.

Excerpt from Potomac Fever

Available Mar 11, 2025