Columbus Power Company, pictured left, was built under the leadership of Major John Fletcher Hanson, and was used to power his new Bibb Manufacturing Company mill in Columbus, Georgia, right. Both projects were completed in 1902. Photo circa 1920 and courtesy of Columbus State University.
Reviews and Awards
Nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award in the biography category by the Georgia Writer's Association 2017.
Journal of Southern History, August 2017, review by Michael E. Williams, Sr., "A good overview of an important yet overlooked figure." Dunn "should be commended for making a solid contribution to New South literature with this biography."
Georgia Historical Quarterly, review by Katherine Fitchburg, "Dunn's biography of Hanson is one of few works that chronicle the lives and influence of the New South's industrial founders. Hanson proved transformational and left a complex legacy."
Civil War Book Review, https//. com/ (January 7, 2018), Chris Meyers, "The New South Expanded." "Lee Dunn has done for Hanson what the Major did for southern industry. She has made Hanson a recognized figure and provided historians with a more forward thinking alternative to Henry Grady."
Lee Ann Caldwell, Ph.D.Director of the Augusta University Center for the Study of Georgia History
"Author Lee Dunn's fascinating biography of John Fletcher Hanson resurrects the important story of the contributions of a Georgian that deserves to be better known. Not only was he one of the major crusaders for the founding of the Georgia Institute of Technology, but he impacted the state and its future as a leading industrialist, newspaper publisher, and visionary. His progressive ideas on race, politics, economics, and nationalism put him at odds with most of the leaders of his time, but he courageously advocated and worked for a modern Georgia. This biography should restore Hanson to his rightful place in the saga of our state."
Stephen W. Taylor, Ph.D.
Professor of History and Coordinator of Undergraduate Research
Middle Georgia State University
"Though generally known as 'the Major' for his service to the Confederate Army, John Fletcher Hanson's greatest commitment was to the New South, not the Old. Though sometimes overshadowed or outmaneuvered by his journalistic rival Henry Grady, Hanson's relentlessly scientific approach to industrialization and his willingness to work with organized labor in order to improve both industrial productivity and working conditions make him arguably as important as Grady to scholars of the New South. Likewise, Hanson's support for 'welfare capitalism"'(long before the term itself was coined) and his advocacy of a functioning two-party system in Georgia both mark him as a man well ahead of his time."