Professor offers guided tour of Virginia history on With Good Reason radio program

Richard Straw

Interested in strolling through the landscape of historic Rockbridge County without ever leaving home? Just turn up the radio.

The With Good Reason radio program will rebroadcast an interview with Radford University Professor of History Richard Straw on Oct. 17-23 in which he discusses his book, "Rockbridge County: The Michael Miley Collection." The interview first aired in April 2014.

Straw's book, part of the popular "Images of America" series, uses the photography of Michael Miley (1841-1918) to tell the story of Rockbridge County and the Shenandoah Valley from the end of the Civil War through the turn of the 20th century.

"I just find his work incredibly beautiful," said Straw, who has taught courses at Radford University about the Old and New South, Appalachian history and southern music. "I poked around and found out that there really hadn't been much done about him. He's a great artist and I wanted to get his photographs out there where people could see them."

Miley, who is most famous for his many pictures of Robert E. Lee in the period following the Civil War, was an unusual photographer for his time. He was interested in capturing people smiling or laughing, neighbors going about their business or studies of clouds in the countryside.

Listeners in the New River Valley can hear With Good Reason at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 20 on Public Radio WVRU 89.9. Programs also are available through podcasts at

With Good Reason has twice won the Gabriel Award for Best Documentary/Public Affairs Program and is also the recipient of top honors from the Virginia Association of Broadcasters and a second place in the Public Radio News Directors' competition.

With Good Reason is produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities for the Virginia Higher Education Broadcasting Consortium and is broadcast in Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia, Alaska, California, Michigan and Washington, D.C.

Oct 12, 2015