• From the Hood to the Holler

  • A Story of Separate Worlds, Shared Dreams, and the Fight for America's Future
  • By: Charles Booker
  • Narrated by: Charles Booker
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Kentucky State Representative Charles Booker tells the improbable story of his journey from one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country to a political career forging new alliances among forgotten communities across the New South and beyond.

“Charles Booker is a rising leader in our nation, and an inspiration to me and all those who get to know his story and vision.”—Senator Cory Booker 

Charles Booker grew up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Kentucky, living in the largely segregated West End of Louisville. Faith and love were everything in his family, but material comforts were scarce. The electricity was sometimes shut off. His mother often went hungry so her son could eat. Even after he graduated from law school, Booker rationed the insulin he took for diabetes. Determined to build a world in which poverty and racism would not plague future generations, he charted his own course into Kentucky politics, a world dominated by the myth of an urban-rural divide, and controlled by the formidable Republican establishment.

In this stirring account, Booker unfolds his journey from the heart of Louisville to the deepest reaches of Kentucky’s rural landscapes, reflecting the journey America itself must make on the way to a progressive future. Robbed of multiple family members by gun violence, Booker found the roots of a system built to fail him and his neighbors in everything from the hypocrisy of elected officials to the structural racism embedded in the state’s budget. 

Yet it wasn’t until his unlikely appointment to the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources that he understood the transformative power of the issues that bound his family with those in rural Appalachia. In coal country, he met citizens who, like those in the West End, suffered from extreme isolation, for whom fresh food and economic stability were scarce, who lacked the resources to overcome their cynicism about change. Through his work as the youngest Black state legislator in Kentucky, Booker built an unprecedented alliance between the hood and the holler. This coalition was the basis for a thrilling grassroots Senate campaign that nearly stunned the nation, putting Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul on notice that the days of business as usual were over. 

From the Hood to the Holler is both a moving coming-of-age story and an urgent political intervention—a much-needed blueprint for how equity and racial justice might transcend partisan divisions in Kentucky, throughout the South, and across America.

©2022 Charles Booker (P)2022 Random House Audio

What listeners say about From the Hood to the Holler

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Great book

Thank you Charles Booker for writing your story. People of Kentucky need you to represent us. This book was an eye opener on the things not spoken about by others who claim to have our best interests in mind.

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Fantastic read

The story of Charles Booker‘s Life, his struggles And his accomplishments were so compelling. What a beautiful human being who is so caring and has devoted his life to serving others.

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Excellent!

When I got my PoliSci degree, I was more focused on environmental issues, but Booker tells a compelling story about bridging the gaps in our body politic in a warm, humane way that's at once raw with frustration and wrapped in love. I look forward to seeing him beat Rand Paul and bringing his message to D.C.

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Great Book

Charles Booker for President. This story brought me to tears several times while listening to it. Happy page turning.

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Powerful

I grew up in rural KY. I’m so proud to have Mr. Booker as a fellow Kentuckian. His story resonates with many and he uses his life experience to be a powerful motivator.

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Fantastic!

Hearing him read his own story is the best way to digest this thoughtful book. I enjoyed every minute.

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A powerful story from an inspiring man

Man, I really hope this guy wins against Rand Paul. We need his vision. The way he relates to people regardless of background really shows through in this book, and it's humbling to hear the story of his hardships and triumphs.

I absolutely recommend this book in audio format, because it definitely benefits from his gift as an orator. His passion for his belief carries his story through some occasional slips that new writers often make. That's not to say there are glaring mistakes, but there are turns of phrase that get used a little too frequently, and other such quibbles. That said, I enjoy the fact that the presentation is a little rough around the edges; it serves to humanize him, make him feel more real.

I loved this book. Charles's story is one of deep anguish tempered and transformed into transcendent hope and determination. I regard it as required reading because it gives perspective into the lives of people who are rarely seen or heard, and shows us how we are not so different despite outward appearances.