Henry Grady, who turned the Atlanta Constitution into a nationally prominent publication in a few short years, is credited with giving Anniston's newspaper its maiden name, The Hot Blast. The inspiration, we're told, came when Grady, in Anniston for a visit to this model city, noted the sparks shooting out from the company town's foundry. Hot Blast seemed like a nifty handle for a paper covering northeast Alabama. On Aug. 18, 2008, The Anniston Star, the descendant of The Hot Blast, celebrated its 125th birthday. The paper was not alone in hitting the big 1-2-5. In early July, the city of Anniston marked 125 years of existence. The Star has created something we believe worthy of the anniversary. The book is a compilation of five special newspaper sections examining The Model City's history and its future. It looks backwards, to Samuel Noble and Daniel Tyler's grand experiment at creating a different sort of company town, one that treated workers fairly, established a foundation for a high-functioning community and aspired to lift the South from its post-war doldrums. This book aims to extract lessons from our past that can be applied to our future. The authors do this because we believes a community can't know where it's going until it's sure of where it's been. We hope you will find The Model City informative and challenging, as bracing as the whoosh of warm air blowing out of an iron furnace.