Twilight of the Firebrand

George Wallace bids farewell to an odyssey and an era

The past has made an impression on Montgomery. The city's air reverberates with dead glories and brags, old rhetoric, old songs gusting out of the tribal ^ memory. The state capitol amounts to a sort of truculent shrine. A memorial to the Confederate dead stands on its grounds. "When this historic shaft shall crumbling lie," begins a grandiloquent inscription carved in the stone, "In ages hence, in woman's heart will be/ A folded flag, a thrilling page unrolled,/ A deathless song of southern chivalry."

Jefferson Davis stood on the west portico to take his oath as President of the Confederacy in...

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