Tim Crimmins and co-author Anne Farrisee, a Georgia State University Heritage Preservation alumna, have received two honors for their book Democracy Restored: A History of the Georgia Capitol (University of Georgia Press, 2007). On February 11, 2008, the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives invited the authors to be recognized during their sessions. Members of Georgia Legislature approved resolutions stating that Democracy Restored: A History of the Georgia Capitol was “a unique account of Georgia history as the state grew and developed in and around the Georgia capitol building,” and that commended them for “preserving Georgia's proud heritage for generations to come.” The Georgia Writers Association also has selected them as Georgia Writers of the Year for 2008 in the area of Creative Non-Fiction History. They were selected from a dozen Georgia residents whose books were nominated by their publishers.
This stunning, fully illustrated history of the Georgia Capitol not only pays tribute to a grand old edifice but also vividly recounts the history that was made—and that continues to be made—within and without its walls. The Georgia Capitol is a place where, for more than a century, legislators have debated, governors have proclaimed, and courts have ruled. It is also a place where countless ordinary citizens have gathered in lively tour groups, angry protest mobs, and at times solemn funeral processions.
As Timothy J. Crimmins and Anne H. Farrisee move through the major periods in the Capitol's history, they tell three interwoven stories. One is a tale of the building itself, its predecessors, its design and construction, its occasionally ill-considered renovations, and the magnificent, decade-long restoration begun in 1996. Also revealed is how the gradual accumulation of statues, flags, portraits, and civic rituals and pageants has added new layers of meaning to an already symbolic structure. The third story the authors tell is of the legislative and judicial battles that sought to limit or extend democratic freedoms. Some of these events were high drama: fisticuffs during a prohibition debate, Eugene Talmadge's strong-arm eviction of the state treasurer from the statehouse, the Three Governors Controversy, and an African American protest in the segregated cafeteria.
From the laying of the cornerstone in 1885 to the present, successive generations of Georgians have created a distinctive history in and around the Capitol as they have exercised, or sought to gain, their rights. Today the Georgia Capitol remains a working center of state government, and its history continues to unfold.