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This is NOT Al Hester
A Great Love for History: Especially Civil War and Reconstruction Period
I was born in West Texas and had ancestors who fought for the South and for the North. In Texas some fought Indians. It's a blessing they didn't get killed fighting each other. By profession I am a writer, an editor and a retired University of Georgia journalism professor, teaching in Athens for 27 years.
In addition to teaching newspaper and magazine writing, editing, investigative reporting and international communication, I have been a reporter, assistant city editor and city editor of The Dallas Times Herald, a now-defunct large afternoon newspaper in Texas. I was also head of the University of Georgia's Grady College's newspaper and magazine department.
A real highlight in my university career was founding the James M.Cox, Jr. International Center, which specialized in training and research to improve international journalism. I worked in about three dozen countries and enjoyed teaching journalists and students in former Communist countries and many Third World nations. I have a bachelor's in journalism from Southern Methodist University in Dallas; and a master of journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I also obtained my Ph. D. in mass communication. I have written about a dozen books and approximately 200 non-fiction articles and short stories.
While I always loved Civil War and Reconstruction history, it was only after I retired that I had the time to dig out quite a few interesting stories in those areas. Athens and Clarke County have a vibrant history, and it's been a challenge to see how the Civil War affected us here, and what life was like for whites and African Americans, especially during the Reconstruction as the ex-slaves tried to fashion decent lives and whites worked to recover from the war.
My wife Conoly and I joined forces to write Athens, Georgia, Celebrating Two Hundred Years at the Millenium, tracing this fine city' and county's history in a Bicentennial Book published in 2001. She, like me, is a writer and editor.
I see virtues and vices in both the South and the North, and I want to tell some of the stories which grew out of their hard-fought conflicts.