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Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn: A Saga of Race and Family Paperback – May 1, 1997


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Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn: A Saga of Race and Family + Atlanta Rising: The Invention of an International City 1946-1996
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140265090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140265095
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Atlanta, a city hyped during the 1996 Olympics as the South's most progressive city, Peachtree Street is the main commercial avenue of white business power; Auburn Street, known as Sweet Auburn, is the old center of the city's black community. Their intersection is rather insignificant, a fact mirrored in the racial segregation that has always characterized Atlantan society. Pomerantz has traced the history of the city, and the development of race relations from the city's founding to the present day, through the experiences of two emblematic and influential families: that of Ivan Allen Jr., a white mayor in the 60's; and that of Maynard H. Jackson, the city's first black mayor. The result is a vividly humanized and objective history. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This compelling account of the rise of Atlanta from the devastation of the Civil War to its present role as host of the 1996 Olympics is told through a generational biography of two families?one black and one white. Displaying his excellent research skills, Pomerantz, a journalist with the Atlanta Constitution, recounts the story of Iran Allen Sr., son of a Confederate cavalryman, who came to the city in 1897 to accumulate wealth. Contrasted with the Allens are the Dobbses, whose Atlanta residency began with John Wesley Dobbs, son of a Georgia freedman, who arrived in 1895 seeking an education. Coexisting in a segregated society, both men raised families and became civil leaders. Dobbs taught his children that they were the equals of whites, and his grandson, Maynard Jackson Jr., was elected Atlanta's first black mayor in 1973. Iran Allen Jr. recast himself as a Southern liberal and served as Atlanta's mayor from 1962 to 1969. Through rich details and vibrant characterizations, the author delivers a comprehensive overview of the struggle for civil rights in a major Southern city.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The writing style is very engrossing.
Jamie Cole
Written in a style I would describe as novelist, yet factual this book will keep you interested to the very last page.
Kevin Hayden
Anyone interested in Atlanta's history in particular and American history in general should read this book!!!!!!
N. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! I am an avid reader of southern history and eagerly awaited the publish date.It did not let me down. Gary Pomerantz breathes life into John Wesley Dobbs and Ivan Allen and their families. When I ran down Auburn Avenue with a group of friends last year I felt as if I had been there before. The book is more than a history of Atlanta, it is an in depth look at the people who have made this city what it is today. Mr. Pomerantz is a writer and story teller of amazing insight.The book reads like a great work of fiction. This is a must for any southern history fan or anyone loving a good read about Atlanta.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I knew Atlanta in quite a different way. This book has opened my eyes to how the city became what it is today and gave me a wonderful historically accurate picture of the people who build the city. This should be a must-read for anybody connected with the city or anybody interested in how race relations affect the building of any city. I was thrilled when I recently drove thru Atlanta and saw an exit off of interstate 75 south for the "John Wesley Dobbs Ave." and felt like I was part of history too after connecting some things in my family with events in this beautifully written book. This book also gives me hope that all human beings can strive together to make the future of Atlanta even greater than the past. This book was good on so many levels and touched so many different issues: Historic, human, socioeconomics, I can't begin to describe how much I liked it with the poor words at my disposal. I can say READ IT!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Through words and comprehensions that push towards brilliance, Gary Pomerantz has written a history of civil rights in the South beyond compare to others of our generation. Every sentence shows his devotion and study of the subject, which is still unfolding as I write, on Peachtree Street. His years of interviewing and researching are evident on every single page of the thick text. This is the kind of book that you re-read the last few pages several times because you are sad to see the story end. You hope to find out the author has written a sequel! This book is for those of us wanting to learn more about the fall-out from slavery and black oppression in the South. It is the best comparison of blacks and whites ever written that truly speaks from both sides and gives the "human condition" of this subject its best reward - which is to explain the true story of where the individual's predjudices came from and how they were daily being conquered...or handed down, as the case may be. It is an essay on the evolution of a culture and it's victims. It does not always give credit to those the media attempted to credit. It gives credit to the deserving ones...politically correct or not. Some of Pomerantz's book re-writes history. You should read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. M Sabbagh on November 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've read several of Gary's books and found this one to be an amazing work of not only scholarship and very detailed research but it was also very readable. Some people may be put off by the sheer size of the book but once I was hooked (it took a few pages), I really couldn't put it down until I was done.

Luckily, I was on a cruise and quite a few sea days to lie back in the sun and savour this wonderful book.

I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone interest in how the South was transformed (both intentionally and unintentionally) by a small number of people with not only immense vision but also immense bravery and a sense of justice.

Bravo Gary!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Henderson on December 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
I think this is one of great books of our time. If your are an Atlanta resident or one interested in the evolution of race and/or power, you should put this in your cart.
The detail is incredible, yet it's not tedious and dull. An Atlanta resident, especially, would be interested in knowing how the city - and the region - got to the Olympics, why the city is developed as it is, etc. Why our Airport is named Hartsfield International; why Gone with the Wind was such a big thing; and exactly what role John Wesley Dobbs, Ivan Allen, Maynard Jackson, Sidney Marcus, Martin Luther King, the Woodruffs and Andy Young have had in the city.
A MUST read!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "Candi" on December 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am a native Georgian and raised in Metro Atlanta. This book opened my understanding of how, what, when and who made this city and why our state is so political about everything. Unfortunately, the race factor will always play a role in how we view and operate the local and state governments. This book just makes it clearer for anyone who works, lives and does business in Georgia. All Georgia history teachers should read this book. It would make Georgia history so much better for 8th graders and make them think. This is a must for reference material.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Muffin@Mindspring.com Bob Snee on March 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
A top flight piece of journalistic work telling and combining the legends of both black an white Atlanta leadership.. The stories are told with great charm and dignity. ... a thoroughly exciting read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
Pomerantz had a great idea when he decided to present Atlanta history by relating the family histories of two Atlanta majors, Ivan Allan, Jr. and Maynard Jackson (Dodds family). The Allans are an old line Atlanta white family; The Dodds are an old line Atlanta black family. The combination of their stories presents a more balanced view of this southern city and its race relations. The reader should, however, remember that both mayors were economically upper class. The lower class viewpoints, both black and white, receive little attention.
The description of Ivan Allan's term as major is based heavily on, and differs little from, the autobiography Mayor: Notes from the Sixties. Unfortunately this reviewer can not comment on sources for Maynard Jackson.
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