History Professor Explores Georgia’s Powerful Peach
(Jun 15, 2020) — Growing up in middle Georgia, William “Tom” Okie ate his fair share of peaches. Now
as associate professor of history at Kennesaw State, he has taken on a bigger bite, researching and writing about the
fruit’s agricultural and cultural history in Georgia.
Okie set out to better understand how this sweet summer fruit, with its deep historical roots in Georgia, became a major crop and a central symbol in the state’s redevelopment after the Civil War. His book, The Georgia Peach: Culture, Agriculture, and Environment in the American South, peels back the layers of how this non-native fruit helped the state break from the rocky reputation of its agricultural past, and now stands as a cultural icon.