|Author Karl Rhodes|
|$19.95 + tax (and s/h, if applicable)|
|289 pages, 9 x 6 inches, softbound|
|Includes endnotes and references|
|Who in their right mind writes a novel with more than 500 endnotes handcuffing himself to the truth? Veteran journalist Karl Rhodes’ storytelling skillfully weaves historical fact and literary devices into an immensely readable account of important history.|
|Review by EK Knappenberger, MAR|
|Great introduction to a little-known chapter in Harrisonburg-Rockingham history!|
Karl’s great-great-grandmother, Peggy Rhodes, ran a busy depot on the underground railroad that helped draft dodgers and deserters escape the Confederacy. She did so while her husband, Henry, was dying of consumption. She also ran the farm, raised five children, and served as a postmaster for the underground.
Born in Harrisonburg, Karl Rhodes grew up mostly in Florida, returning to the Shenandoah Valley in time to graduate from Turner Ashby High School. He majored in journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he met his wife, Kim. In 1984, Kim and Karl moved to Florida, where he worked as a reporter on the startup crew of Orlando Business Journal. Two years later, they returned to Richmond, where Karl helped launch Virginia Business magazine. He eventually became the magazine’s executive editor.
In 1999, Karl was promoted to director of external communications for Media General, the parent company of Virginia Business. He returned to hands-on publishing in 2005 as editor of the University of Richmond Magazine, where he won numerous writing and editing awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
Karl retired in 2021 from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, where he was a senior managing editor in the bank’s research department. He edited several of the bank’s publications while writing numerous magazine articles about economic history.
For the past two years, Karl has focused on being a great-great-grandson of Margaret Heatwole Rhodes, the protagonist of his new novel — Peggy’s War.
Review by EK Knappenberger, MAR
Sadly there is no genre wide enough to encompass the important new work by Karl Rhodes, Peggy’s War, (Dale Enterprise Literary Society, Richmond Va., 2023). Neither purely narrative history, nor easily categorized as historical fiction, Rhodes’s meticulously-researched opus is a powerful catalogue of source material compended together in the form of a speculative historical retelling. . . . Readers of all kinds from the family room to the archivist’s cubicle will appreciate Rhodes’s book, which if there is justice, will take its place among the classics of Rockingham County.