“This is a delightful and inspiring coming-of-age story brimming with funny anecdotes, family mysteries, and political intrigue, but it is much more than one raconteur’s personal report of how the scales fell from his eyes. Through Hamilton’s stories of his maturation, it is possible, finally, to trace the evolution of a species—the white, southern male—from the muck of Jim Crowism to the embrace of the progressive spirit that is the South’s salvation.”
—Hank Klibanoff, coauthor of The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation
When Hamilton Jordan died of peritoneal mesothelioma in 2008, he left behind a mostly finished memoir, a book on which he had been working for the last decade. Jordan’s daughter, Kathleen—with the help of her brothers and mother—took up the task of editing and completing the book. A Boy from Georgia—the result of this posthumous father-daughter collaboration—chronicles Hamilton Jordan’s childhood in Albany, Georgia, charting his moral and intellectual development as he gradually discovers the complicated legacies of racism, religious intolerance, and southern politics, and affords his readers an intimate view of the state’s wheelers and dealers.
Jordan’s middle-class childhood was bucolic in some ways and traumatizing in others. As Georgia politicians battled civil rights leaders, a young Hamilton straddled the uncomfortable line between the southern establishment to which he belonged and the movement in which he believed. Fortunate enough to grow up in a family that had considerable political clout within Georgia, Jordan went into politics to put his ideals to work. Eventually he became a key aide to Jimmy Carter and was the architect of Carter’s stunning victory in the presidential campaign of 1976; Jordan later served as Carter’s chief of staff. Clear eyed about the triumphs and tragedies of Jordan’s beloved home state and region, A Boy from Georgia tells the story of a remarkable life in a voice that is witty, vivid, and honest.
Read more about Hamilton Jordan at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.
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