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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents The Broken Road by Peggy Wallace Kennedy with Justice H. Mark Kennedy, read by Caitlin Thorburn. From the daughter of one of America’s most virulent segregationists, a memoir that reckons with her father George Wallace’s legacy of hate - and illuminates her journey towards redemption.   

Peggy Wallace Kennedy has been widely hailed as the “symbol of racial reconciliation” (Washington Post). In the summer of 1963, though, she was just a young girl watching her father stand in a schoolhouse door as he tried to block two African American students from entering the University of Alabama. 

This man, former governor of Alabama and presidential candidate George Wallace, was notorious for his hateful rhetoric and his political stunts. But he was also a larger-than-life father to young Peggy, who was taught to smile, sit straight, and not speak up as her father took to the political stage. 

At the end of his life, Wallace came to renounce his views, although he could never attempt to fully repair the damage he caused. But Peggy, after her own political awakening, dedicated her life to spreading the new Wallace message - one of peace and compassion.   

In this powerful new memoir, Peggy looks back on the politics of her youth and attempts to reconcile her adored father with the man who coined the phrase “Segregation now. Segregation tomorrow. Segregation forever.”  

Timely and timeless, The Broken Road speaks to change, atonement, activism and racial reconciliation.

©2019 Peggy Wallace Kennedy (P)2019 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic Reviews

[A] thoughtful, evenhanded debut...Kennedy’s astute memoir also serves as a probing record of politics and racism in the South. (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Broken Road

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Narrator mispronounced "Tuskegee".

The Narrator did not know how to pronounce "Tuskegee". How do you mention the "Tuskegee Airmen" and mispronounce "Tuskegee"? This should have been corrected.

4 people found this helpful

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  • PJ
  • 01-09-20

An incredible story butchered by a horrible narration

Peggy Sue Wallace Kennedy writes a story that is both honorable and remarkable. Her ability to understand the politics of her father and mother and her willingness and fortitude to right those wrongs with past leaders of the civil rights movement is an incredible journey.
With regard to this Audiobook, this wonderful story is butchered with the worst narration I have heard in over 250 Audible titles. Caitlin Thorburn butchers the English language to a point where simple words and phrases need to be replayed for listener understanding.
Although I highly recommend this book the listener must truly be an active listener so that the narration does not ruin the beautiful story told within.

3 people found this helpful

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I wish the author had been the narrator !

I am from Clayton, Alabama, three years younger than the author, with many memories of her and her family. I found this narrative to be in keeping with what I had been told as an adult from people who were there during my childhood. The story is inspiring, but the mispronunciation of towns in Alabama from Clio to Mobile to Montgomery and Tuskegee was really off- putting, and at times almost laughable. The pronunciation of many names wears also mangled. I tried not to let it detract from the quality of the writing.

1 person found this helpful

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Good story, terrible narration

I found the mispronunciations of such simple words as Dynasty to be very distracting. The terrible southern accents did not help.
Too bad the actual story became overshadowed by the poor performance of the narrator.
The descriptions of Wallace's personality and character reminded me of a recent president...

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Read this book. Don’t listen to it.

I cannot understand how this book went to “press” with as many terrible mispronunciations as it includes. It’s one thing for a book telling an important southern story to have a bad fake southern accent, but mispronouncing common words and people’s names is inexcusable and feels like lazy research and editing. It was distracting and frustrating and detracted from my experience. The Tuskegee Institute deserves the respect of being pronounced correctly even if you haven’t heard of it.

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Mispronunciations are shocking

The number of mispronunciations is shocking. I understand the narrator is purposely using a Southern accent, but she blatantly mispronounces numerous words.

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Narrator makes this audiobook a challenge to finish

Enjoyed the story but the narration was awful. Mispronunciations were the least of it. Her poor attempts to voice children, men, and others from that time period were distracting from the story. To top it off, halfway through the book, she changes the way she pronounces Peggy’s names for her mother and grandmother. How does this not get corrected before publishing the audiobook?

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Anti-Trump propaganda

For those of us readers old enough to remember the "George Wallace era" first hand, this was a missed opportunity to describe a journey towards reconciliation without the injection of today's partisan politics. I'm not necessarily a Trump fan, but I don't see how taking shots at him, and Republicans adds anything to this story. Although there was not a lot of it, any amount is too much within the context of this book. The author should write a different politically themed book, if she wants to travel down this road.

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Narrator?

This was a compelling book and a must read for the times. However, the narrator left much to be desired. Much.

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Mispronunciations of important Alabama places

This book is the author’s remembering of her life’s events. It is her story and not up to me to make comments about it. But the reading had so many mispronunciations of places in the state that is was difficult to hear the story. The reader’s voice was lovely but the author should not have allowed those mispronunciations to remain. I would not recommend the audio version.