Eric Motley grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, raised by adoptive grandparents in an area called Madison Park. It’s a place where he no longer lives, but he returns twice a year — to see his hometown, friends and relatives … and to say thanks.

Motley’s story is all about what a good community can do, even when things are bad.

“It was in Madison Park that I came to realize those dreams and aspirations and my own potential to pursue a better life and a life of the mind and heart,” he says. No one in Motley’s family had gone to college, but with encouragement and support, Motley left Madison Park, and eventually found his way to the Oval Office as a special assistant to President George W. Bush.

“Eric has an uncanny ability to remember everything,” says author Walter Issacson, who is also President of the Aspen Institute where Eric now works. Such a memory can be as much as a burden as it is a blessing. And the detail is laid bare in Motley’s new book, “Madison Park: A Place of Hope”

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