Selected Books About Montgomery, Alabama — A Reading List

Compiled by Jeff Benton. Download this list in PDF format.

Montgomery History/General

An Alabama Newspaper Tradition: Grover C. Hall and the Hall Family, Daniel Hollis, University of Alabama Press, 1983

An American Harvest: The Story of Weil Brothers Cotton, George Bush, Prentice Hall Trade, 1983

Central Alabama Memories: Commemorating the 175th Anniversary of the Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery Advertiser, Pediment Publishing, 2004

Cloverdale: An Illustrated History, Suzanne Samuel Israel, King Kudzu Publications, 2001

Confederate Home Front: Montgomery During the Civil War, Dr. William Rogers Jr., University of Alabama Press, 2001

The Cradle: An Anatomy of a Town, Fact and Fiction, John P. Kohn Jr., Vantage Press, 1969.

Deep Family: Four Centuries of American Originals and Southern Eccentrics [Read-Baldwin-Craik family], Nicholas Cabell Read, Dallas Read, and Jean Craik Read, NewSouth Books, 2005

Doing It My Way, Winton (Red) Blount, Greenwich Publishing Group, 1996

History of Huntingdon College, 1854-1954, Rhoda Coleman Ellison, NewSouth Books, 2004

Memories of the Mount: The Story of Mt. Meigs, Alabama, John Scott, Black Belt Press, 1993

Montgomery: Andrew Dexter’s Dream City, Helen Blackshear, The Author, 1996

Montgomery: An Illustrated History, Wayne Flynt, Windsor Publications, 1980

Montgomery at the Forefront of a New Century, Wendi Lewis and Marty Ellis, Community Communications, 1996

Montgomery Aviation, Billy Singleton, Arcadia Publishing, 2007

Montgomery: Capital City Corners, Mary Ann Neeley, Arcadia Publishing, 1997

Montgomery’s Historic Neighborhoods, Carole King and Karren Pell, Arcadia Publishing, 2010

Montgomery in the Good War: Portrait of a Southern City, 1939-1946, Wesley Newton, University of Alabama Press, 2000

Montgomery in the 20th Century: Tradition and Change, 1880-2012, Mary Ann Neeley, HPNbooks, 2013

Montgomery Then and Now, Carole King and Karren Pell, Arcadia Publishing, 2011

Nobody But the People: The Life and Times of Alabama’s Youngest Governor [John Patterson], Warren Trest, NewSouth Books, 2008

Oak Park and the Montgomery Zoo, Heather Trevino and Linda Pastorello, Arcadia Publishing, 2007

Old Alabama Town: An Illustrated Guide, Mary Ann Neeley, University Alabama Press, 2002

Old Oakwood Cemetery: A Brief History, Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery, Society of Pioneers of Montgomery, and Oakwood Cemetery Project Committee, Landmarks Foundation, 2001

The Other Side of Montgomery: Growing Up White in the Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, Eddie Phillips, NewSouth Books, 2009

The People’s Lawyer: The Colorful Life and Times of Julian L. McPhillips, Jr., Carroll Dale Short, NewSouth Books, 2000

Respectable and Disreputable: Leisure Time in Antebellum Montgomery, Jeffrey Benton, NewSouth Books, 2013

A Senator’s Wife Remembers: From the Great Depression to the Great Society [Mrs. Lister Hill], Henrietta McCormick Hill, NewSouth Books, 2010

They Served Here: Thirty-Three Maxwell Men, Jeffrey Benton, Air University Press, 1999

The Way It Was, 1850-1930: Photographs of Montgomery and Her Central Alabama Neighbors, Beth Muskat and Mary Ann Neeley, Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery, 1985

Wings of Opportunity: The Wright Brothers in Montgomery, Alabama, 1910, Julie Hedgepeth Williams, NewSouth Books, 2010

The Works of Matthew Blue, Montgomery’s First Historian, Mary Ann Neeley, NewSouth Books, 2010

Montgomery History/Civil Rights

Beyond the Burning Bus: The Civil Rights Revolution in a Southern Town, J. Phillips Noble, NewSouth Books, 2003

Bus Ride to Justice:Changing the System by the System: The Life and Works of Fred Gray, Fred Gray, NewSouth Books, 2013

Climbing Jacob’s Ladder: From Queens to Tuskegee: A Trial Lawyer’s Journey on Behalf of “the Least of These”, Jacob Smith and Paul Hemphill, NewSouth Books, 2002

Creating Community: Life and Learning at Montgomery’s Black University, Karl Westhauser, et al., University of Alabama Press, 2008

Dividing Lines: Municipal Politics and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma, J. Mills Thornton III, University of Alabama Press, 2002

E.D. Nixon: The Life of a Resourceful Activist, Freeman Pollard, Junebug Books, 2002

Educator: The Life of Thelma Smiley Morris, Thomas Bobo, NewSouth Books, 2006

The Freedom Rides and Alabama: A Guide to Key Events and Places, Context, and Impact, Noelle Matteson, NewSouth Books, 2011

Inside the Montgomery Bus Boycott: My Personal Story, Uriah Fields, AmErica House, 2002

Jim Crow and Me: Stories from My Life as a Civil Rights Lawyer, Solomon Seay Jr. and Delores R. Boyd, NewSouth Books, 2009

Johnnie: The Life of Johnnie Rebecca Carr, Randall Williams, NewSouth Books, 2001

The Judge: The Life and Opinions of Alabama’s Frank M. Johnson, Jr., Frank Sikora, NewSouth Books, 2007

My Journey: A Memoir of the First African American to Preside Over the Alabama Board of Education, Ethel Hall, NewSouth Books, 2010

Outside the Magic Circle: The Autobiography of Virginia Foster Durr, Virginia Durr, University of Alabama Press, 1985

Sing for Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs, Guy and Candie Carawan, NewSouth Books, 2008

They Had No Voice: My Fight for Alabama’s Forgotten Children, Denny Abbott, NewSouth Books, 2013

This Day in Civil Rights History, Randall Williams and Ben Beard, NewSouth Books, 2009

Touched by History: A Self-Guided Tour to Civil Rights Sites in Central Alabama, J. Mills Thornton III and Joseph Caver, NewSouth Books, 2005

Voices from the Dexter Pulpit: Sermons from the First Church Pastored by Martin Luther King, Jr., Michael Thurman, NewSouth Books, 2001

A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation:Based on His Experiences Beginning with the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Robert Graetz, NewSouth Books, 2006

The Worthy Way: Memoirs of a Pioneer Black Law Enforcement Officer, Arthur Worthy, NewSouth Books, 2001

Arts and Architecture

Alabama Art, Nall, Black Belt Press, 2000

Alabama Arts: A Comprehensive Guide to the Arts in Alabama, Karyn Zweifel, Birmingham News, 2007

Deep Blues: Bill Traylor 1854-1949, Josef Helfenstein and Roman Kurzmeyer, Yale University Press, 1999

Bill Traylor: Drawings from the Collections of the High Museum of Art and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Margaret Lynne Ausfeld, et al., Prestel Publishing, 2012

Blount Collection of American Art, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1993

Deep Blues: Bill Traylor, Self-Taught Artist, Mary Lyons, Antheneum, 1995

Gone Home: Southern Folk Gravestone Art, Jack and Olivia Solomon, NewSouth Books, 2004

Hank Hung the Moon and Warmed Our Cold, Cold Hearts, Rheta Grimsley Johnson, NewSouth Books, 2012

Historic Architecture in Alabama: A Guide to Styles and Types, 1810-1930, Robert Gamble, University of Alabama Press, 2001

I Just Make People Up: Ramblings with Clark Walker, Foster Dickson, NewSouth Books, 2009

Mose T A to Z: The Folk Art of Mose Tolliver, Anton Haardt, Sturno Press, 2007

Painting a Hidden Life: The Art of Bill Traylor, Mechal Sobel, Louisiana State University Press, 2009

Sense of Place: Montgomery’s Architectural Heritage, 1821-1951, Jeffrey Benton, River City Publishing, 2001

Spaces and Places: Views of Montgomery’s Built Environment, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, The Museum, 1978

Tin Man, Charlie Lucas and Ben Windham, University of Alabama Press, 2009

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald: A Biography, Nancy Milford, Harper Collins, 1970


The Alabama Guide 2011-2014: Our People, Resources, and Government, NewSouth Books, 2012

Alabama: The History of a Deep South State, William Rogers, et al., University Alabama Press, 1994

Carolina Planters on the Alabama Frontier: The Spencer-Robeson-McKenzie Family Papers, Edward Pattillo, NewSouth Books, 2011

Eugene Allen Smith’s Alabama: How a Geologist Shaped a State, Aileen Kilgore Henderson, NewSouth Books, 2011

Faith and Works: The Politics, Business, and Philanthrophy of Alabama’s Jimmy Faulkner, Elvin Stanton, NewSouth Books, 2002

Neither Carpetbaggers nor Scalawags: Black Officeholders During the Reconstruction of Alabama 1867-1878, Richard Bailey, NewSouth Books, 2009

Researching African American Genealogy in Alabama: A Resource Guide, Frazine Taylor, NewSouth Books, 2008

The Very Worst Road: Travellers’ Accounts of Crossing Alabama’s Old Creek Indian Territory, 1820-1847, Jeffrey Benton, University of Alabama Press, 2009