In 1845 Atlanta was the last stop at the end of a railroad line, the home of just twelve families and three general stores. By the 1860s, it was a thriving Confederate city, second only to Richmond in importance. A Changing Wind is the first history to explore what it meant to live in Atlanta during its rapid growth, its devastation in the Civil War, and its rise as a "New South" city during Reconstruction.
A Changing Wind brings to life the stories of Atlanta's diverse citizens. In a rich account of residents' changing loyalties to the Union and the Confederacy, the book highlights the unequal economic and social impacts of the war, General Sherman's siege, and the stunning rebirth of the city in postwar years. The final chapter focuses on Atlanta's collective memory of the Civil War, showing how racial divisions have led to differing views on the war's meaning and place in the city's history.
Wendy Hamand Venet is a professor of history at Georgia State University. Her books include Sam Richards's Civil War Diary: A Chronicle of the Atlanta Home Front (Georgia), A Strong-Minded Woman: The Life of Mary Livermore, and Neither Ballots nor Bullets: Women Abolitionists and the Civil War.