Wallace’s son pens new book

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, March 29, 2012

George Wallace, Jr., signs a book in Troy, Ala., Thursday, March 29, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

A new book about Alabama’s 45th governor is making the rounds in Pike County and its author hopes that the book will help readers see George Wallace in a new light.

“I didn’t set out to write a book,” said George Wallace Jr. “I was just writing about our family and my father and people kept telling me that the world should be able to read what I was compiling.”

Wallace Jr. stopped by the Pig Cafe on Three Notch Street in Troy on Thursday to sign books and meet with community members.

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“Governor George Wallace: The Man You Never Knew by the Man Who Knew Him Best”, is a self-published book available online and at some small bookstores scattered across the South.

“There are some people who will never find any redeeming qualities about George Wallace,” his son said. “I know that. But he sought to nurture our common humanity. He loved all people. He was not a racist. He supported segregation, at one time, not racism.”

Wallace Jr. said that he hopes people who only know of his father through the iconic images of him standing in a schoolroom doorway at the University of Alabama in 1963 in an attempt to stop desegregation will see a different side of him.

“He did support segregation at one time,” Wallace Jr. explained. “He was taught that as a child, but his conscience over time told him he was wrong and he worked to make amends.”

In his final term as governor, George Wallace appointed a record number of blacks to state positions. In the book, Wallace Jr. talks about his father’s appearance before Dr. Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders in an attempt to apologize for his actions.

Wallace, Jr. also discusses finding letters his father wrote to Arthur Bremer, the man convicted of an assassination attempt on Wallace.

“He wrote to him more than once,” Wallace, Jr. said. “One letter said that he loved him and forgave him.”

Wallace explained to his son that he wanted Bremer to find the same redemption in God that he did. He also relayed that he didn’t want to face his Maker with any hate in his heart.

“He finally got it right,” Wallace said. “He got it right in the end.”

Books can be ordered online at www.georgewallacejr.com.