Books & Literacy

Georgia Humanities is dedicated to lifelong learning. We partner with such publishers as the University of Georgia Press to support special book publications and with such educational organizations as the Georgia Public Library System to support literacy efforts.

Book Publishing Partnerships

Georgia Humanities collaborates with publishing partners to make available books that are vital to understanding and appreciating the history and culture of our state.

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Our Arc of Constancy: A History of the Georgia General Assembly
Second Edition

By Chris Grant

This booklet offers a brief history of Georgia’s state legislature, featuring short biographies of notable legislators, quick facts, and a timeline. The PDF version includes links to the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

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How Journalists and the Public Shape Our Democracy: From Social Media and “Fake News” to Reporting Just the Facts

Covering the role of journalism in our democracy, the confusion over how news is researched and reported, the responsibilities of citizens to inform themselves, and much more, this booklet in an indispensable resource. Created in partnership with the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and the Atlanta Press Club.

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The Liberating Promise of Philanthropy: Stories of Grant-Makers in the South

By Martin Lehfeldt and Jamil Zainaldin

Georgia Humanities president emeritus Zainaldin and former Southeastern Council of Foundations director Lehfeldt examine roots of philanthropy in the South, which began to grow in response to the destruction of the Civil War. The authors demonstrate that after 1865, philanthropy and the nonprofit sector became partners in opening the door for a new civil society in the South—culminating in the modern civil rights movement.

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Inspired Georgia

Edited by Judson Mitcham, Michael David Murphy, and Karen L. Paty

This unique collaboration brings together contemporary Georgia poets and photographers. A copublication with the University of Georgia Press, Georgia Council for the Arts, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, and National Endowment for the Arts.

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A President in Our Midst: Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Georgia

By Kaye Lanning Minchew

This book reveals how FDR interacted with local Georgians during his many visits to the state and how he found inspiration for some New Deal programs. A copublication with the University of Georgia Press.

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Without Regard to Sex, Race, or Color: The Past, Present, and Future of One Historically Black College

Photographs by Andrew Feiler

A photographic meditation on Atlanta’s Morris Brown College. A copublication with the University of Georgia Press.

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Historic Rural Churches of Georgia

By Sonny Seals and George S. Hart

Featuring 300-plus photographs, this book documents many of the remaining (although some barely standing) rural churches throughout the state. A copublication with the University of Georgia Press.

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Fuller E. Callaway: Portrait of a New South Citizen

By Buckner F. Melton Jr. and Carol Willcox Melton

In this new biography of Fuller E. Callaway, a progressive industrialist at the forefront of the South’s modernization efforts, the authors offer lessons about joining the interests of business with the civic good. A copublication with the Fuller E. Callaway Foundation.

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Memories of the Mansion: The Story of Georgia’s Governor’s Mansion

By Sandra D. Deal, Jennifer W. Dickey, and Catherine M. Lewis

First Lady Sandra Deal and public historians Jennifer Dickey and Catherine Lewis tell the story of the Governor’s Mansion as well as the stories of the families who have lived there while serving the citizens of Georgia.

Decatur Book Festival

Each year over Labor Day weekend, tens of thousands of book lovers attend the AJC Decatur Book Festival, the largest independent book festival in the country, at the historic Decatur Square. The annual festival features 600-plus authors and more than 20 stages (including visual arts, children’s events, YA authors, and cooking demos, among others) and is a lively way to learn about new books and authors. Georgia Humanities is a proud sponsor of a humanities track of authors at the festival each year, as well as sponsoring a humanities pavilion.

The 2020 Decatur Book Festival transitioned to a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic—and thanks to our continued partnership with the Decatur Book Festival—Georgia Humanities offered an online author series which featured conversations around civic engagement. Read more about each program below.

Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory

Hosted in partnership with the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University

Claudio Saunt, the Richard B. Russell Professor in American History at the University of Georgia, discussed his new book, Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory, with the Carlos Museum’s director of education, Elizabeth Horner. Saunt’s work is a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award.

Unworthy Republic explores how Native American expulsion became national policy and demonstrates how the politics and economics of white supremacy lay at the heart of expulsion; how corruption, greed, and administrative indifference and incompetence contributed to the debacle of its implementation; and how the consequences still resonate today.

Watch the program »

Unworthy Republic
Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Nonfiction

Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All

Hosted in partnership with PEN America

In an era in which free speech is often invoked as a principle but rarely understood, learning to maneuver the fast-changing, treacherous landscape of public discourse has never been more urgent. Author Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, discussed her new book, Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All, with Emory University historian Joe Crespino.

In Dare to Speak, Nossel offers a vital, necessary guide to maintaining democratic debate that is open but respectful of the rich diversity of backgrounds and opinions in a changing country.

Watch the program »

Dare to Speak

The Liberating Promise of Philanthropy: Stories of Grant-Makers in the South

Co-authors Martin Lehfeldt and Jamil Zainaldin discussed their book The Liberating Promise of Philanthropy: Stories of Grant-Makers in the South, in conversation with Lesley Grady.

Particular attention is given to the crippling effect that slavery, Jim Crow, and the Lost Cause has had upon the building of a civil society in the South, and how generous and compassionate philanthropists have worked to alleviate that burden. Zainaldin and Lehfeldt assert that foundations are at their best when they help to move people from a state of dependency to one of self-sufficiency, and thereby contribute to the building of a democratic, civil society.

The authors and moderator of this conversation are well-versed in philanthropy—each helped advance the work of philanthropic foundations in Georgia and the Southeast during the course of their careers. Lesley Grady recently retired as senior vice president of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta,  Martin Lehfeldt is the former president of the Southeastern Council of Foundations, and Jamil Zainaldin is president emeritus of Georgia Humanities.

Watch the program »

The Liberating Promise of Philanthropy

Literacy in Libraries

PRIME TIME® Family Reading Time is a family literacy program that helps economically and educationally vulnerable families bond around the act of reading and talking about books. The program demonstrates a model of reading and discussion designed to encourage thinking beyond the standard who, what, where, and when of the story, and includes interactive storytelling and group discussion that takes place in one 90-minute session per week for six weeks.

PRIME TIME® addresses illiteracy and low-literacy using the humanities as a tool to create excitement about reading, and programs are often conducted in Spanish and English.

The impact of PRIME TIME® is significant: the program delivers quality humanities education experiences to families at risk for low-literacy; increases public library use among participants; increases family bonding and reading time of participants; and positively affects the attitude and behavior of families regarding reading.

The PRIME TIME® program is facilitated in Georgia through a partnership between Georgia Humanities and the Georgia Public Library Service.

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Questions?
E-mail Elaine Black, director of family and children services, at the Georgia Public Library Service: black[at]georgialibraries.org

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