A. ROGER EKIRCH was born in Washington, DC, and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. He is the author of “Poor Carolina,” Bound for America, Birthright, and At Day’s Close. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Huffington Post. He holds degrees from Dartmouth College and John Hopkins University, and has received a Guggenheim fellowship. He lives in Roanoke, Virginia, and is a professor of history at Virginia Tech.