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Legacy: The Secret History of Proto-Fascism in America's Greatest Little City Paperback – October 19, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466440988
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466440982
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,472,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Scott Smith grew up in LaGrange, Georgia.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mathlete on November 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most people (like myself) see a word like "fascism" in a book title such as this and immediately assume the author is prone to hyperbole and exaggeration. However, this would be one of the exceptions. The book does indeed cover a series of events, championed by fascist governments of the era, that fit the textbook definition of fascism -- a scenario where private companies are able to control the government and the military. It was not a permanent agreement, thankfully, but the tag "proto-fascism" is not hyperbole in this case.

Because of the restraint shown that is not immediately evident from first impressions, the book is a good read no matter one's political affiliation. The author certainly has a viewpoint, but he does something very rare in modern non-fiction -- he provides opposing viewpoints, and not mere strawman arguments that he has a ready answer for. It's refreshing reading a book where opposing arguments that are not easily defeated are not kept from the reader.. that sort of honesty should be rewarded.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By BGRAFF on November 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Legacy: The Secret History of Proto-Fascism in America's Greatest Little City leads you through the heartbreaking foundation LaGrange City was founded on. The Author takes you through the agonizing events and bloodshed of LaGrange citizens who struggled through some of the most horrific moments in history. Some sacrificing their lives and homesteads in the quake of demoralizing conditions that Mill workers were forced to accept by the hands of our very own well-known Callaway Founders, associates, and followers.

"For at least fifteen years, the Callaways had warned their employees that union activity in LaGrange would result in "violence, disorder--and death!"
-pg. 29

I was deeply moved by this book. While reading the factual events that this author vigilantly portrayed, I was shocked, stunned, mortified, outraged, and saddened all at the same time knowing that history has repeated itself in LaGrange even in this day and age. The author's unique writing style and expression will strike a chord with anyone who is or has ever worked in deplorable conditions, or forced to accept their environment on the basis of threats, harassment, and the inability to support their families. The secret history of LaGrange is mind-blowing. The reader will discover the truths behind the jobless rate which is insufferably high in Troup County, and how many if not most of the organizations, churches, businesses, and even our schools are still being ruled by the "Cotton King" long after his death.

This book will and should start an outcry for the necessary change that is long overdue in the city of LaGrange and Troup County.

Brenda A. Graff
Former Reporter for TCN
Citizen of Troup County
brendaagraff@aol.com
706-616-5835
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By EBelisha on June 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
The first question my child was asked, by her teacher, upon entering the LaGrange school system: "What church do you belong to?" Then she was informed that if she wanted to finish the 8th grade she would have to join one... preferably Baptist. This book is not hyperbole.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an interesting study by a graduate student from LaGrange, Georgia, who traces a century of events in a textile mill town dominated by a single industry and a single family. Through interviews and local historical research, he traces the dominance of "right-wing authoritarian", "fundamentalist", sexist, and racist philosophies up through the present, and describes why such "plantation" policies of submission and oppression still continue, and accepted even among those who are the victims.

To support the claim that a "proto-fascism" is actually in place, each of Dr. Lawrence Britt's fourteen characteristics of a fascist state is compared to the historical facts and observed narratives about the town. The author shows that all of the properties of merging business and the political/governmental structure are in place as a form of "municipalism", similar to a "statism" at the national level.

Smith goes beyond historical facts and social science criticism, though, to identify what response citizens can make to such a pervasive community structure. To counter with logical arguments on the one hand, or with violence and mob action on the other, will just fall into the game that is already being played and controlled by those of wealth and power.

The effective response should be to "educate and [create] experience". For those who are oppressed, this means that they need to become aware that they can have a voice and power of their own, and that the local Callaway family has in fact usurped those rights, while taking the credit for more than a century.
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By MACK I. on October 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading this small book, one gets a new understanding of one of the wealthy southern families and the way they think.
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I got this book because some of my relations had moved to LaGrange, GA. It is an interesting account of a person who grew up in the city and his attempt to come to grips with the "company town" history involving the development of the churches, schools, library and pools with an eye towards the historical segregation that lasted in the city until the 1990s. After living there for a few months it was easy to see the history being played out, and learn some of the things have not really changed although the cotton mills are no longer there. The author tried to cover all the aspects of the history of the founding family and the foundations they created, and how they continue to influence the town and county.
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More About the Author

Scott Smith grew up in America's Greatest Little City, LaGrange, Georgia. He lives in LaGrange with his wife Adreane, son Alex, and dogs Rigby and Sadie.

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