Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn: The Saga of Two Families and the Making of Atlantaby Gary M. Pomerantz
There is an intersection in Atlanta where two worlds meet. On the one hand, there are the gleaming skyscrapers of Peachtree Street, where Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell lived & died; & on the other, there are the Reconstruction-era churches of Auburn Ave., where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once preached & is now entombed. This book is the biography of Atlanta as told through two of its most prominent & elite families one white, one black as they ascend over five generations on opposite sides of a segregated city to produce the two most controversial mayors of the New South: Ivan Allen, Jr., & Maynard Jackson. Photos.
Pomerantz, a journalist with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has done a remarkable job of recounting both public and private events, lucidly showing how the two connect and diverge across the span of decades. Atlanta's beginnings were humblea railroad junction with the unpromising name of Terminusbut it quickly grew into the largest city in the South. Even its near complete destruction during the Civil War did little to set it back. Adopting the phoenix as its symbol, the city underwent a phenomenal and frenetic reconstruction as thousands of families migrated from the countryside to the "Big Hustle." Among these rural immigrants were the Dobbs, sharecroppers and former slaves, and the Allens, gentlemen farmers. Members of both families quickly rose to join the elites of their respective communities, and their prestige, power, and wealth increased with each generation. While the book's title refers to two Atlanta streets where wealthy whites and blacks made their respective homes, there were few meaningful intersections of their lives until the 1950s and the beginnings of the civil rights movement. During those turbulent years, as segregation slowly came to an end, both families played key, honorable roles, culminating in the election of Ivan Allen Jr. as mayor, followed a few years later by the election of Maynard Jackson, a descendant of the Dobbs family and Atlanta's first black mayor. Pomerantz has accumulated a formidable amount of research and deploys it expertly, ra rarely losing sight of his characters as they play out their unique destinies against the backdrop of history.
An engrossing genealogical window on a remarkable city.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.69(w) x 9.55(h) x 1.87(d)
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >