Atlanta — Scarlett O’Hara’s Atlanta is a very distant memory in Tom Wolfe’s look at this southern capital city in his book A Man in Full.

The modern version of Atlanta doesn’t have a Civil War in the backdrop but the issue of race is at the forefront of this multi-layered novel. Race. Class distinctions. Real estate and political machinations. Young wives. First wives. The whole gamut is here in this look at metropolitan Atlanta.

When I was in Atlanta last year for the 75th anniversary of the publication of Gone With the Wind, I remember a drive through the Buckhead neighbourhood on our way to the Atlanta History Center which is located on 33 acres in the upscale area.

The neighbourhood, where most of the setting of A Man in Full is set, has some of the most luxurious homes I’ve ever seen. If plantations are still around, they would be located in Buckhead.

There’s a real plantation in the book, a place called Turpmtime where the lead character Charlie Croker likes to show off his ability to shoot quail. But Buckhead defines the rise of modern Atlanta and the decline of Croker.
“He was precisely where he had dreamed of being as a young man: living in a mansion in Buckhead, the master builder of metro Atlanta, creator of a gleaming tower named after himself, a man whose footsteps made the halls of the mighty vibrate…and how hollow it all was!”



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