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Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn: A Saga of Race and Family
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Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn: A Saga of Race and Family

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  180 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
"A fascinating tale of two cities told through the rise of two of Atlanta's most illustrious political families...highly significant in what it reveals about ambition, hard work, success, and race relations."—David Levering Lewis.
Paperback, 688 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Penguin Books
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Nick Black
Apr 01, 2013 Nick Black rated it really liked it
Recommended to Nick by: Nick Ralabate
my response to this was/is pretty complicated, and i'll need let it marinate a minute before i really review this. well-written and a pleasure to plow through, though by no means fantastically well-written; i was pretty disappointed, given the book's reputation. there's a much better history of twentieth century Atlanta waiting for someone to put it down. four stars for ATLiens, as we are distressingly short on a collective history and understanding of ourselves, and this helps. two to three sta ...more
Jan 11, 2013 Brandon rated it it was amazing
This is a great book about Atlanta and its history as told through the families of the last two-term white mayor of Atlanta (his successor lost) and the first black mayor of the city. Pomerantz does a good job of showing the complicated racial dynamics of "the city too busy to hate," and how both white and black leaders worked hard to preserve Atlanta's reputation even as black leaders prodded the white establishment to move forward. What stands out in the book is the courage of Ivan Allen, who ...more
I was first attracted to this book by the title and decided it was finally time to read it after many years on my to-read list. It is basically the story of Atlanta woven through the lives of two prominent families, the Dobbs and the Allens. It's a lengthy read and the first 100 pages or so were slow-going for me as the family trees from the Civil War period to the 1920's were detailed.

I enjoyed it very much as it was interesting to read about the history of Atlanta and what part each family pl
Aug 02, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
This is definitely the best non-fiction book I have ever read. Admittedly, it probably has a very specific audience: Atlanta residents and those interested in history. It tells the story of black Atlanta from pre-Civil War until the mid-90s, and the story isn't pretty. Pomerantz very honestly tells the harsh realities about race relations in the South's most popular city.

I have lived in Atlanta for over 6 years after growing up in the Northeast. While I had a general idea of how awful things in
Emi Bevacqua
Jan 13, 2013 Emi Bevacqua rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: an African American historian
Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn is a 624-page history of a section of Atlanta and four generations of 2 politically prominent Atlanta families, one (the Allens) white and one (the Dobbs) black. At one point a businessman describes a meeting with Mayor Maynard Jr. as follows: "consisted of somebody asking a question and fifty-nine minutes later Maynard's monologue ended. His monologue would become, in about the tenth or fifteenth minute, a lecture and, by the end, was a total harangue... It wa ...more
Mar 08, 2016 Roby rated it it was amazing
An excellent and engaging history of my hometown in the 20th century. Anyone with any interest in Atlanta history, and/or urban governing and the emergence of African-American politicians in the 1960's and 70's should read this book, which reads more like an engrossing novel.
Aug 13, 2007 Laura rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Atlanta residents or anyone interested in the history of the civil rights movement in the South
Although the first 100 pages of this book are slow going, I'm so glad I stuck with it. Pomerantz does a great job telling the history of Atlanta and its civil rights struggles up through the 1980s and has ignited in me a real interest in Atlanta's past. Now when I drive on streets named after individuals, I often know who those individuals were and why they were important to our city. I can't recommend this book makes you think about what is wrong with our city and our country now an ...more
Jan 13, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Fascinating and so helpful as I researched my latest novel...
Jul 09, 2011 FittenTrim rated it liked it
While being a book that can only appeal to those with a deep interest in Atlanta's history, it brings to light the pragmatic ancestors that turned a train junction into the capitol of the New South. Reading about the pragmatic white mayors like Hartsfield & Allen who took a rather inert, yet politically savy approach to civil rights sadly reminded me of my parents & grandparents' rather passive efforts to desegregate the city. That said, even though I'm an Atlanta history buff, I had to ...more
Jan 26, 2010 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: southern
Good historical narrative. I highly recommend for anyone interested in the history of Atlanta, moderately recommend for anyone interested in race relations histories, and do not recommend for any other groupn of readers. I enjoyed learning more about my adopted home town. It could have been shorter. Also, it ends in 1995 (right before the Olympics.) I'd love a pocket part to bring me up to date on the happenings between 1995-1999 (the year I moved to Atlanta.)
Amy Bradley
Sep 20, 2010 Amy Bradley rated it liked it
Amazing story of the parallel lives of the Ivan Allen family and the John Wesley Dobbs family in Atlanta. I was amazed at reading what went on in Georgia with regard to race and politics. If you are in Atlanta and see a road, building, bridge or other landmark named for a person, I bet you could find the name and the story in this book.
Feb 04, 2009 Quincy rated it really liked it
Very informative, really enjoy reading it BUT, it's long and I feel like I have to be very alert to read it to remember what I am reading...still working on finishing it. Overall a great angle on Atlanta's history.
Sep 09, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
Although I can't say this was a fun book to read, I am very glad to have read it. It is the history of Atlanta from the points of view of two families who produced renowned Atlanta mayors, one black and one white.
Jul 02, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Read this years ago - we decided to read again for book club so I will be rereading as I can't really remember what I even did yesterday - much less what I read in the mid-90s.
Mar 29, 2013 Eaguerrant rated it really liked it
It took me awhile to finish, but this book was well worth it :) I'm glad to have finally learned more about the history of the city I have lived in for 21 years.
Jul 12, 2007 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Atlanta history
I skipped the first 100 or so pages due to time, but once I got into it, it was really interesting. I loved the Atlanta history, didn't know most of it before.
Jul 02, 2010 Ebony rated it liked it
a lengthy book that requires focus but i learned a lot about atlanta, the south and the history of race relations in this ever-evolving city.
Thom Diggins
Mar 29, 2013 Thom Diggins rated it it was amazing
Chronicling the American civil rights movement through the history of two Atlanta families.
Jul 26, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing
An incredible history of Atlanta from the white and black perspective.
Jul 15, 2008 Christine rated it really liked it
I like this book,because it taught me so much about the history of Atlanta.
Aug 14, 2013 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting....recommend if you are curious about Atlanta history
Oct 01, 2008 Debra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
excellent background for understanding some of Atlanta's history
Melissa Conrad-alam
Apr 26, 2013 Melissa Conrad-alam rated it it was amazing
Loved this exploration of Atlanta history and politics!
Janet Sanfilippo
Jan 09, 2008 Janet Sanfilippo rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone moving to Atlanta, or interested in recent history of the City
Great book for anyone moving to Atlanta...
Aug 01, 2009 Dana rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this history of Atlanta
May 23, 2010 Tove rated it did not like it
I couldn't finish it... too dry.
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