A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff: The Great Recession and The Death of Small Town Georgia

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A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff recounts the rise and fall of Georgia's rural population as told through the story of Charles Graves Rawlings. From modest beginnings as a liveryman, he acquired nearly 40,000 acres of land, as well as a bank, a railroad, and diverse other businesses. By 1920, he was one of the state's wealthier men, with a loving wife and family, and powerful political connections. Five years later he was facing a sentence of life in prison for his role in the alleged murder of his first cousin, Gus Tarbutton. The growth of wealth in rural Georgia during the first two decades of the twentieth century was dramatic, as was the economic crash that accompanied and followed the so-called Great Recession of 1920-21. While the rest of the nation recovered rapidly, transitioning to the era of the Roaring Twenties, the rural South remained mired in social and financial despair. This is the story of rural Georgia that foreshadowed our own day, our own story.