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The Broken Road: George Wallace and a Daughter's Journey to Reconciliation

The Broken Road: George Wallace and a Daughter's Journey to Reconciliation

by Peggy Wallace Kennedy


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From the daughter of one of America’s most virulent segregationists, a memoir that reckons with her father George Wallace’s legacy of hate—and illuminates her journey towards redemption.

Peggy Wallace Kennedy has been widely hailed as the “symbol of racial reconciliation” (Washington Post). In the summer of 1963, though, she was just a young girl watching her father stand in a schoolhouse door as he tried to block two African-American students from entering the University of Alabama. This man, former governor of Alabama and presidential candidate George Wallace, was notorious for his hateful rhetoric and his political stunts. But he was also a larger-than-life father to young Peggy, who was taught to smile, sit straight, and not speak up as her father took to the political stage. At the end of his life, Wallace came to renounce his views, although he could never attempt to fully repair the damage he caused. But Peggy, after her own political awakening, dedicated her life to spreading the new Wallace message—one of peace and compassion.

In this powerful new memoir, Peggy looks back on the politics of her youth and attempts to reconcile her adored father with the man who coined the phrase “Segregation now. Segregation tomorrow. Segregation forever.”

Timely and timeless, The Broken Road speaks to change, atonement, activism, and racial reconciliation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635573657
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 12/03/2019
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 571,317
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Peggy Wallace Kennedy is a nationally recognized speaker, lecturer, and writer. Her father, George Wallace and her mother, Lurleen Wallace, were both governors of Alabama. Mrs. Kennedy has received, among others, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Rosa Parks Legacy Award; the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation Woman of Courage Award; the Brown Foundation Human Rights Award; and the MLK Commission Award, City of San Antonio, Texas. Her dedication to racial reconciliation offers hope for change in a divided America. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama.

Justice H. Mark Kennedy, Peggy's husband of forty-six years, served as a judge for more than two decades including two terms as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama. Together they have two sons.

Table of Contents

Foreword Dr. Wayne Flynt ix

1 The Bridge 1

2 In the Beginning 9

3 Romance in the Air 15

4 Coming Home 23

5 The Race 40

6 Into the Darkness 53

7 The Broken Road 60

8 You Got What You Wanted 78

9 The Victory Is Ours 88

10 1963 96

11 Picture Perfect 112

12 A Storm's a-Comin' 124

13 Success Is to Succeed 129

14 Dynasty 133

15 For You 143

16 Stand Up 149

17 Things Just Change 160

18 Buckle My Shoes 170

19 The Book of Lamentations 181

20 'Til Death Do Us Part 194

21 In Tents 203

22 Testify, Brother Wallace! 210

23 Stepping Down 229

24 Benched 235

25 The End of an Era 242

26 Doors 248

27 Letters from Baghdad 256

28 Back to the Bridge 264

Afterword 271

Acknowledgments 275

Index 279

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