When Hamilton Jordan died of peritoneal mesothelioma in 2008, he left behind amostly 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.Read more...
When Hamilton Jordan died of peritoneal mesothelioma in 2008, he left behind amostly 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.
- ISBN-13: 9780820348896
- ISBN-10: 0820348899
- Publisher: University of Georgia Press
- Publish Date: October 2015
- Page Count: 264
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-11-09
- Reviewer: Staff
Hamilton Jordan, former chief of staff for President Carter, died in 2008; he had worked on his memoir for a decade, but it took a determined effort by his daughter, Kathleen, to finish the project. Jordan traces his Georgia childhood in the segregated South of the 1950s and '60s, splendidly describing a life molded by Confederate values and military tradition. In Albany, Ga., "the breadbasket of the Confederacy," the Jordan clan put down roots and raised three children with a legacy of hard work and white privilege. As Jordan moves through youth, he begins to question the bitter formula of race and segregation, writing eloquently about realizing "the many ironies and injustices of the system," but like almost all Southern whites, he accepted that system. After being a staffer for the powerful segregationist senator Richard B. Russell and witnessing the tense 1962 Albany protests with Martin Luther King Jr., he went against tradition to act as strategist for Carter's Georgia gubernatorial victory at age 26, and later served as Carter's key aide in the White House. While Jordan's book comes to a rushed, unsatisfying end in the middle of the Carter era, it's still a fine glimpse into the evolution in Washington political history. (Oct.)