Mark Pendergrast was born and raised in Atlanta, and is the author of eleven books, including City on the Verge, Uncommon Grounds, Inside the Outbreaks and For God, Country and Coca-Cola. He lives in Vermont.
Atlanta is on the verge of tremendous rebirth -- or inexorable decline. A kind of Petri dish for cities struggling to reinvent themselves, Atlanta has the highest income inequality in the country, gridlocked highways, suburban sprawl, and a history of racial injustice. Yet it is also an energetic, brash young city that prides itself on pragmatic solutions and its ability to rise Phoenix-like yet again.
Today, the most promising catalyst for the city’s rebirth is the BeltLine, which the New York Times called “a staggeringly ambitious engine of urban revitalization.” A long-term project that is cutting through forty-five neighborhoods ranging from affluent to impoverished, the BeltLine will complete a twenty-two-mile loop encircling downtown, transforming a massive ring of mostly defunct railways into a series of stunning parks connected by trails and streetcars.
Acclaimed author Mark Pendergrast presents a deeply researched, multi-faceted, up-to-the-minute history of the biggest city in the fast-growing Southeast, using the BeltLine saga to explore issues of race, education, public health, transportation, business, philanthropy, urban planning, religion, politics, and community.
An inspiring narrative of ordinary Americans taking charge of their local communities, City of the Verge provides a model for how cities across the country can reinvent themselves in the twenty-first century.