Caroliniana Columns
Newsletter of the University South Caroliniana Society
Spring 1999

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Reception Celebrates Harriet Keyserling's
Against the Tide

by Herb Hartsook

The Library hosted a gala reception and book signing on October 29, 1998, to celebrate the publication of Harriet Keyserling's memoir, Against the Tide: One Woman's Political Struggle, from USC Press. Keyserling, a New Yorker, moved to Beaufort after World War II with her husband, Beaufort native Herbert Keyserling, and became politically active in middle age. After serving on

Harriet Keyserling, House Representative from 1977 to 1993, at the podium.

Beaufort County Council, Keyserling represented Beaufort County in the South Carolina House from 1977 to 1993. The Library's Modern Political Collections division is proud to hold Mrs. Keyserling's extensive collection of papers. The collection will be an important resource documenting contemporary society, state government, and issues such as nuclear waste, education, the environment, and the arts. Keyserling's dedication to making government work for the people is reflected in both her papers and memoir.

These postcards of Beaufort, S.C., suggest the city's appearance during the 1940s when Ms. Keyserling first arrived with her husband, Beaufort native Herbert Keyserling.
beau. co. 74beau. co. 7
"Bay St. looking East"
[postmarked 12 Jan. 1923.]
The Arsenal [postmarked
19 Aug. 1954.]

Against the Tide has received excellent reviews and is already in its second printing. A thoughtful review in Charleston's Post and Courier calls it "an elegant and touching chronicle of Keyserling's developing sense of self and power." An intimate self-portrait, the memoir also presents an insightful view of the inner-workings of the General Assembly during an important era of change and helps readers understand the complexities of modern government and share in the fascination of South Carolina politics.


Harriet and Herbert Keyserling with USC Professor James Rex and Library Director Allen Stokes.

The well-attended reception opened with a welcome from Library director Allen Stokes and introduction by her friend and USC professor James Rex. Keyserling then talked with pride of her distinguished legislative record and shared her disappointment as she watched policies she helped initiate and laws she authored or helped pass weakened or undone by a legislature and governors "frequently driven more by partisanship than by issues."

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