Life Among the Nabobs

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About the author:
Hunter James has spent more than thirty-five years as an editorialist and roving correspondent, mostly for the Atlanta Constitution and Baltimore Sun, winning numerous press association awards, as well as a share of the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. A highly seasoned political reporter who has written extensively on the civil rights movement of the sixties and early seventies. A 1954 graduate of Wake Forest University, before Big Tobacco moved it to Winston-Salem, his articles have appeared in Many nationally circulated magazines, including National Geographic (book division) and served as basis for news reports in Newsweek Magazine.
Articles and stories have also appeared in Southern Review, Oasis, Willoughby Press, Historic Preservation, Southern Cultures, Horizon, Colonial Williamsburg, Southern Review, Mt. Olive Review, Wachovia, Roanoke Review, Southern Magazine, and many others. He served in the late seventies as a fellow for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
He has also written for Scripps-Howard News Service, and shared in 1970 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. In recent years he has spent most of his time free lancing and writing "wicked" novels and short stories, as Fred Chappell, a premier American author and prize-winning poet said of James's first fictional work, The Rosary. Not always. Of his most recent work published in 2008, The Last Days of Big Grassy Fork, Chappell wrote: "highrollers and halfwits, preachers and peckerwoods, bootleggers and Bible-thumpers-Hunter James has drawn them all with a casual but accurate hand. Skillfully interweaving personal memoirs with community history, The Last Days of Big Grassy Fork is irresistible. I galloped from page to page and took it hard when the book had to end."
"Superbly written and hugely entertaining, James is an excellent writer and a natural storyteller."-William McKeen, journalistic dean at the University of Florida and author of Rock and Roll is Here to Stay.

Life Among the Nabobs

An Award Winning Journalist's First Hand Account Of The Turbulent 1960s and 70s

Authored by Hunter James

Much of Hunter James's career as an editorialist and correspondent for the Atlanta Constitution and Baltimore Sun coincided with the turbulent civil-rights-antiwar-protest years, affording him an opportunity to focus on many of the intimate details of the movements-details overlooked or simply neglected by the TV networks and other news outlets. This work, his third on the subject, is not another play-by-play description of the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s. Instead, its focus is on the South that existed before the movements in cities such as Atlanta and Baltimore, and the entirely different South that emerged. Atlanta, for example, a relatively peaceful city in the late fifties and early sixties, became one of the most crime-ridden cities in America. The author tells this story by giving voice to real people who had to deal in their own way with the turmoil, the violence and the new day that was dawning. From his encounters with some of the well known figures of the era, such as Robert Frost, Odgen Nash, William Faulkner and numerous others, he presents an intimate and personal view not found anywhere else. He tells the story of The Atlanta Constitution, the South's greatest newspaper in James's view, as it struggles to survive a turbulent and ever changing landscape. (209/1287)

Much of Hunter James's career as an editorialist and correspondent for the Atlanta Constitution and Baltimore Sun coincided with the turbulent civil right years, affording him an opportunity to focus on many of the intimate details of the movement-details overlooked or simply neglected by the television networks and other news outlets.
This is his third book on the subject, different in almost every respect from more standard works on movement days. These works all, in their own way, tell the story of  real people who had to deal with a new day in their own way, often with little help from the likes of big names such as Martin Luther King.  King and his chief aides would put in appearance from time to time in the small Southern towns-then off he would go to indulge himself in less uplifting challenges.

The men closest to him, most notably his second-in-command, Ralph Abernathy, believed (and spoke openly of it) that King would stand taller in history if he had refrained from many of his lascivious nocturnal pleasures. The real fight, meantime, had been left to the people he had left behind. And in the beginning at least most were at a loss as to their mission. Were they to leave the cotton fields to march in the streets? Some chose to do so; others chose to stay behind, though not enough of them to get in  all the cotton. 

Yet, to be sure, there were heroics a plenty.  Daily marches in the streets, many of us spending hot summer days talking to black workers in the cotton and corn fields or in or near the swamps bordering the Tombigbee River, fights in the streets-activists spilling the groceries of men and woman of their own race, men and women who had gone shopping at supermarkets declared off-limits by activists. Some would eventually join the movement, some never. "And we'd go out, some of us would, and bottle out their windows at night," an old preacher named Godfrey Norwood told me once. Still, the protests were far from unanimous. See All the Forgotten Places and They didn't Put That on the Huntley Brinkley.

Although this work deals with certain aspects of the movement in Baltimore and other cities as the movement went north, the real emphasis is on what it left behind. And what the Southern world was like before the freedom riders came through: a summing up, in other words, of the often devastating impact left by the movement mainly on the city where Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind (the Great American Novel?) found the home of its glory.

Publication Date:
1937327108 / 9781937327101
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
5.5" x 8.5"
Black and White
Related Categories:
History / Social History

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