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Local history lover, teacher gets published

By Trina Trice

At Clayton College & State University Kathryn Kemp teaches students about the people and events of the past.

But Kemp is no mere history professor, she lives and breathes the subject. Kemp recently published a revamped version of her dissertation on someone she feels is pivotal in the history of Atlanta n Asa Candler, creator of the Coca-Cola empire.

"He's a very important man for understanding Atlanta history around the turn of the (20th) century," she said. "No one had written a scholarly book about his life."

In "God's Capitalist: Asa Candler of Coca-Cola," Kemp recounts Candler's life and beliefs, which some might consider unique for a rich man.

"(Candler believed in) Christian Stewardship," she said. "He was from a different world. I realized when I was first starting to research about him. I tried to find the middle ground between those that had nothing good to say about him or had nothing but good to say about him."

Under the belief system of Christian Stewardship, Candler believed his wealth meant he must do good in the world and make a profit.

Writing a book was not a continuous process.

"I didn't do it all at once," Kemp said.

While taking care of her ailing mother, Kemp tried to find opportunities to "fiddle with it from time to time."

Once the book was finished, Kemp shopped the book around, getting many rejections in return for her efforts.

Now that the book has been published Kemp has the itch to write another.

"I would love to write more," she said. "The question is finding the time. I have a local history subject in my mind."