on January 8, 2015
This book is so full of apologetic bias that I really started to dislike it. The authors look down their noses at so much that is associated with rural life. There is a lot of good history included, but it's oftentimes presented with a wink and a smirk. They make unsupported comment after unsupported comment with regards to the motivations and inner thoughts of people profiled in the book. They do a good job of fairly representing the issue of slavery and racial relations, so I give them credit for that. But almost quit reading it several times due to the urban superiority slant they put on so many of the pages.
on September 14, 2015
It has been decades since my elementary and secondary education, and the details of Alabama's state history had nearly disappeared from conscious memory. Reading this book sparked faintly recalled facts, and created a new understanding of Alabama's complex historical legacy. As an adult there have been numerous times when I'd read a news story about our government at work in Montgomery that left me (SMH) shaking my head in disbelief. After reading this book which provides detailed historical context, it must confessed that I am less dismayed by what happens, but even more upset that we have allowed it to happen. If improvements require knowledge, then reading this book is a first step to acquiring the historical understanding needed to turn this state around and leave it as a place that others look toward as an example of positive transformation.