Atlanta’s Olympic Resurgence by Michael Dobbins

Atlanta's Olympic Resurgence

Atlanta’s Olympic Resurgence is a book that tells the story of how Atlanta leveraged the benefits of the Centennial Games to become a city of international prominence. The book is written by three urban planning professionals who were at the center of the story.

The authors describe how a bold, audacious partnership of a strong mayor, enlightened business leaders, and Atlanta’s Black political leadership dared to bid on hosting the 1996 Olympic Games.

Unexpectedly, the city won, an achievement that ignited a loose but robust coalition that worked collectively, if sometimes contentiously, to prepare the city and push it forward.

The book covers the six-year lead-up to the Games, including the initiation and preparation of the city’s Olympic Development Program and the establishment of its Corporation for Olympic Development in Atlanta.

It also covers the impact of the Games on the city, including the economic transformation, the increase in population, and the construction of new sports venues and infrastructure.

What I Liked

As an Atlanta transplant, I appreciated the political behind the scenes of the Games.

What I Did Not Like

The book definitely needs to be read in conversation with other books about Atlanta. It’s solid, but also only presents a narrow picture of what all was happening in Atlanta in the 1990s.

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