Georgia Odyssey

James C. Cobb
Second Edition

Updated to reflect the last decade of change in Georgia


"An excellent window through which to take honest measure of the state."
Times Literary Supplement

"One of the most refreshing works on the state to appear in years. . . . Cobb writes in a style that is lively and personal. Georgia Odyssey is one of those rare works that effectively bridge the unnecessarily wide and often artificial gap between professional scholars and an informed public."
Georgia Historical Quarterly

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Georgia Odyssey is a lively survey of the state’s history, from its beginnings as a European colony to its current standing as an international business mecca, from the self-imposed isolation of its Jim Crow era to its role as host of the centennial Olympic Games and beyond, from its long reign as the linchpin state of the Democratic Solid South to its current dominance by the Republican Party. This new edition incorporates current trends that have placed Georgia among the country’s most dynamic and attractive states, fueled the growth of its Hispanic and Asian American populations, and otherwise dramatically altered its demographic, economic, social, and cultural appearance and persona.

“The constantly shifting cultural landscape of contemporary Georgia,” writes James C. Cobb, “presents a jumbled panorama of anachronism, contradiction, contrast, and peculiarity.” A Georgia native, Cobb delights in debunking familiar myths about his state as he brings its past to life and makes it relevant to today. Not all of that past is pleasant to recall, Cobb notes. Moreover, not all of today’s Georgians are as unequivocal as the tobacco farmer who informed a visiting journalist in 1938 that “we Georgians are Georgian as hell.” That said, a great many Georgians, both natives and new arrivals, care deeply about the state’s identity and consider it integral to their own. Georgia Odyssey is the ideal introduction to our past and a unique and often provocative look at the interaction of that past with our present and future.

Published in association with the Georgia Humanities Council

Page count: 200 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8

Read more about Georgia history at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


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James C. Cobb is the B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Georgia. His numerous publications include Georgia Odyssey; Redefining Southern Culture: Mind and Identity in the Modern South; and The Brown Decision, Jim Crow, and Southern Identity (all Georgia), as well as The South and America since World War II; Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity; The Selling of the South: The Southern Crusade for Industrial Development, 1936-1990; and The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity.