Fortune and Folly By Sara A. H. Butler

  • Narrated by: Tiffany Morgan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Release date: 12-26-23

Fortune and Folly By Sara A. H. Butler AudioBook summary

Briarcliff Mansion and the land it occupies are owned by Emory University, which refers to it as its “Briarcliff Campus.” Fortune and Folly, in part, illuminates the largely lost story of how the mansion, and the entire surrounding neighborhood, got its name. But in order to understand the mansion, we have to understand the man who built it.

Briarcliff Mansion once belonged to a man named Asa Candler, Jr.—also known as Buddie. The second son and namesake of Coca-Cola founder Asa Griggs Candler, Buddie was a wealthy real estate developer of great successes and greater failures. A man of big vision and bigger adventures, and a socialite whose boisterous, unapologetic personality made him both beloved and reviled in the Atlanta community. But after he passed away in 1953, his stories faded from memory, either tangled up with or overshadowed by his father.

It’s no mystery why Briarcliff garners attention. It’s self-consciously grandiose, built to display maximum grandeur to the neighborhood. It towers over the landscape, set far back from the road behind a filled-in, overgrown pool. Its face is stitched together where a music hall was added two years after the main house was completed, and the bricks don’t quite match up. This book offers a deep-dive into the life of Asa Candler, Jr. to excavate a piece—and place—of Atlanta history.


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