Former Birmingham News reporter and Alabama House of Representatives legislator Charlie Grainger has published his compelling memoir that chronicles eight decades of U.S. history through the eyes of a southern country boy. Peppered with imagery that highlights the South's charm and distinct history and culture, My Journey Through a Changing South follows Grainger from his humble beginnings living off an unpaved country road during the Great Depression through multiple near-death experiences, each of which further solidified his faith in God.
As a young man during the 1950s, Grainger worked as a journalist and public relations professional. In his early years as a reporter, he covered the thrilling worlds of sports and music, most notably writing about legendary baseball player Ted Williams and American entertainment icons Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.
That era also brought with it increasing momentum in the civil rights movement, during which Grainger transitioned to the politics beat. In that role, Grainger witnessed an angry mob attack black Freedom Riders at a Montgomery bus depot. In 1968, Grainger was elected to the same legislature he once covered where he focused on important issues such as bus safety, air and water pollution, and education.
“The history of how things happened is why I wrote this book: To capture the essence of a booming region in the eight decades from the thirties through the first two decades of the 21st Century,” Grainger wrote in the preface to My Journey Through a Changing South. “It began in 1937 in my grandparents' home along an unpaved road in Lawrence County ... And it ends with a satisfied old man who made a deal with God, his long lost but not forgotten savior, for him to live another 10 years."
Ultimately, My Journey Through a Changing South gives readers a front-row seat to the many historic events Grainger vividly describes that have taken place in the Tennessee Valley region across the 20th and 21st centuries and remain relevant in today's chaotic political climate.
“Born in the 1930's in the rural Alabama he had firsthand experience with the echoes of Reconstruction and the New Deal,” a reader wrote in a five-star review of My Journey Through a Changing South on Amazon. “Grainger's newspaper career started in the '50s and had met with presidents from Truman to Trump. ... What an adventure chronicling over eight decades! Join Grainger as this book is well worth the journey!”
My Journey Through a Changing South by Charlie Grainger ISBN: 978-1-5320-9485-9 (hardcover); 978-1-5320-8537-6 (softcover); 978-1-5320-8538-3 (e-book) Available through iUniverse, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon
About the author Charlie Grainger is a native Alabamian who previously worked as a reporter for the largest newspaper in Alabama, The Birmingham News, and served as a legislator in Alabama's House of Representatives during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Grainger studied at the University of North Alabama, University of Mississippi, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville and earned his master's degree in science from the Southeastern Institute of Technology. Following his legislative service, Grainger went on to become a long-time lobbyist in Washington and a highly successful executive with an aerospace company. He currently resides in Atlanta. To learn more, please visit www.charliegrainger.net and connect with the author on Facebook and Twitter.