All Alabama elections are colorful, but the 1986 gubernatorial contest may trump them all for its sheer strangeness
With the retirement of an aging and ill George Wallace, both the issues and candidates contending for the office were able to set the course of Alabama politics for generations to follow. Whereas the Wallace regimes were particular to Alabama, and the gubernatorial campaign was conducted in a partial vacuum with his absence, Alabama also experienced a wave of partisan realignment. A once solidly Democratic South was undergoing a tectonic political shift as white voters in large numbers abandoned their traditional Democratic political home for the revived Republicans, a party shaped in many respects by the Wallace presidential bids of 1968 and 1972 and the Reagan revolution of the 1980s.
Alabama's own Democratic Party contributed to this massive shift with self-destructive campaign behavior that disgusted many of its traditional voters who wound up staying home or voting for a little-known Republican. From the gubernatorial election of 1986 came the shaky balance between the two parties that exists today.
After Wallace recollects and analyzes how these shifts occurred, citing extensive newspaper coverage from the time as well as personal observations and poll data collected by the authors. This volume is certain to be a valuable work for any political scientist, especially those with an interest in Alabama or southern politics.
An entirely revised and updated edition of the best-selling 2001 original
This collection of biographical essays, written by thirty-four noted historians and political scientists, chronicles the times, careers, challenges, leadership, and legacies of the fifty-seven men and one woman who have served as the state's highest elected official. The book is organized chronologically into six sections that cover Alabama’s years as a US territory and its early statehood, the 1840s through the Civil War and Reconstruction, the late nineteenth-century Bourbon era, twentieth-century progressive and wartime governors, the Civil Rights era and George Wallace’s period of influence, and recent chief executives in the post-Wallace era.
The political careers of these fifty-eight individuals reflect the story of Alabama itself. Taken together, these essays provide a unified history of the state, with its recurring themes of race, federal-state relations, tensions between north and south Alabama, economic development, taxation, and education.
Alabama Governors expertly delineates the decisions and challenges of the chief executives, their policy initiatives, their accomplishments and failures, and the lasting impact of their terms. The book also includes the true and sometimes scandalous anecdotes that pepper Alabama’s storied history. Several of the state's early governors fought duels; one killed his wife's lover. A Reconstruction era-governor barricaded himself in his office and refused to give it up when voters failed to reelect him. A twentieth-century governor, an alumnus of Yale, served as an officer in the Ku Klux Klan.
This entirely updated and revised edition includes enlarged and enhanced images of each governor. Published as Alabama prepares for its sixty-fourth gubernatorial election, Alabama Governors is certain to become a valuable resource for teachers, students, librarians, journalists, and anyone interested in the colorful history of Alabama politics.
The story of Alabama's governors has been often bizarre, occasionally inspiring, but never dull. Several of the state's early governors fought duels; one killed his wife's lover. A Reconstruction era-governor barricaded himself in his administrative office and refused to give it up when voters failed to reelect him. A 20th-century governor, an alumnus of Yale, married his first cousin and served as an officer in the Ku Klux Klan.
This collection of biographical essays, written by 34 noted historians and political scientists, chronicles the foibles and idiosyncrasies, in and out of office, of those who have served as the state's highest elected official. It also describes their courage; their meaningful policy initiatives; their accomplishments and failures; the complex factors that led to their actions or inaction; and the enormous consequences of their choices on the state's behalf.
Taken together, the essays provide a unified history of the state, with its recurring themes of race, federal-state relations, economic development, taxation, and education. Alabama Governors is certain to become an invaluable resource for teachers, students, librarians, journalists, and anyone interested in the colorful history and politics of the state.
This book examines the changing role of the governor in our federal system, giving particular attention to recent developments. The expansion of gubernatorial responsibilities into managerial, executive, and intergovernmental positions has taken place at the same time that the governor's role as leader of his political party has declined. In discussing the contemporary role of governors, the editors provide a view of how the office functions on a day-to-day basis.
The editors base their data on personal experience; interviews with governors, former governors, and staff; on -site visits; and responses to a series of nineteen surveys of governors and their staff conducted between 1976 and 1981. The research was undertaken by the Center for Policy Research of the National Governors' Association.
Presents the first coherent picture of George Johnstone, a vigorous and intelligent but turbulent and always controversial figure
George Johnstone has never received the scholarly attention he fully merits. Historians have assessed him, usually briefly, as governor of West Florida, or as naval commander, or as a member of parliament. Nevertheless, none has considered his important role in East India Company politics, nor, until Bombast and Broadsides, has one synthesized the various roles in which Johnstone was entrusted with high responsibilities.
Through research in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Kew, London, Philadelphia, and Washington in largely unpublished manuscripts, together with the use of secondary sources, the author has been able to present the first coherent picture of Johnstone, a vigorous and intelligent but turbulent and always controversial figure. Johnstone was effective as a colonial governor at a difficult time; in the navy he performed several coups de main; in parliament he was formidable in debate but an opportunist; and at East India House he was a doughty, conservative, and largely successful defender of the proprietary interest.
Bill Bowen’s memoir deals with many of the most important events and years in Arkansas history in the twentieth century. Bowen was born and raised in Altheimer, in the Arkansas Delta, a section of the country that was among the most impoverished in the nation during the Depression. His adolescence was shaped by the Depression, and as a young adult he enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and served in the U.S. Naval Reserve until 1963. After the war, Bowen became a tax attorney. He used his unique skills to refine the legal aspects of investment banking in Arkansas and became so proficient at it that he moved into the banking field to serve first as president then board chairman of one of Arkansas’s largest banks. Legal and banking experience led naturally to politics, and he became chief of staff for Gov. Bill Clinton. After Clinton announced his candidacy for president, it became Bowen’s task to protect the interests and programs of Governor Clinton in the face of intense pressure from then Lt. Gov. Jim Guy Tucker to become de facto governor. Even in retirement he continued to lead an energetic, productive life as he prepared himself for yet another career, this one in education, serving two years as dean of the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Law School, which now bears his name.
In 1831, Stevens T. Mason was named Secretary of the Michigan Territory at the tender age of 19, two years before he could even vote. The youngest presidential appointee in American history, Mason quickly stamped his persona on Michigan life in large letters. After championing the territory's successful push for statehood without congressional authorization, he would defend his new state's border in open defiance of the country's political elite and then orchestrate its expansion through the annexation of the Upper Peninsula---all before his official election as Michigan's first governor at age 24, the youngest chief executive in any state's history.
The Boy Governor tells the complete story of this dominant political figure in Michigan's early development. Capturing Mason's youthful idealism and visionary accomplishments, including his advocacy for a strong state university and legislating for the creation of the Soo Locks, this biography renders a vivid portrait of Michigan's first governor---his conflicts, his desires, and his sense of patriotism. This book will appeal to anyone with a love of American history and interest in the many, larger-than-life personalities that battled on the political stage during the Jacksonian era.
The political life of Ernest W. McFarland—lawyer, judge, senator, governor, Arizona Supreme Court justice, and businessman—is well documented. Less known is his life as a family man, country lawyer, rural judge, and visionary.
In Call Him Mac, Gary L. Stuart renders a nuanced portrait of a young, ambitious, restless, and smiling man on the verge of becoming a political force headed for the highest levels of governance in Arizona and America. Stuart reveals how Mac became an expert on water law and a visionary in Arizona’s agricultural future. Using interviews with friends and family and extensive primary source research, Stuart spotlights Mac’s unerring focus as a loving husband, father, and grandfather, even in times of great personal tragedy. Mac’s commitments to his family mirrored his sense of fiduciary duty in public life. His enormous political successes were answers to how he dealt with threats to his own life in 1919, the loss of his first wife and three children in the 1930s, and a political loss in 1952 that no one saw coming.
Stuart writes the little-known story of how Arizona’s culture and citizens shaped this energetic, determined, likable lawyer. The fame Mac created was not for himself but for those he served in Arizona and beyond. Mac’s unparalleled political success was fermented during his early Arizona years, the bridge that brought him to his future as an approachable and likable elder statesman of Arizona politics.
Campaign Dynamics: The Race for Governor explores the dynamic interaction between candidates and voters that takes place during campaigns. It finds that voters respond in a meaningful way to what candidates say and do during their campaigns.
Candidates for state-wide and national offices spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours trying to convey their messages to voters. Do voters hear them and respond? More specifically, do the issues candidates stress on the campaign trail influence the choices voters make when casting their ballots? The evidence presented in this book suggests that the answer is a resounding yes.
Campaign Dynamics examines more than one hundred gubernatorial elections from 1982 through 1994, beginning with case studies of the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey in 1993. Combining interviews and observations with empirical analysis of public opinion polls, the case studies develop the basic understanding of how campaigns define the set of important issues in an election. Then the analysis is expanded to consider the abortion issue in thirty-four gubernatorial elections in 1990. Later chapters test these ideas in over one hundred gubernatorial elections, combining exit poll data on upwards of 100,000 voters from dozens of races with measures of campaign themes developed out of a content analysis of newspaper coverage.
This book employs multiple methods and sources of data and represents one of the most comprehensive theoretical and empirical efforts to understand the role of campaigns in voting behavior ever undertaken.
Campaign Dynamics will be of interest to those who study state politics, voting behavior and campaigns, and democratic theory. It should also guide students and scholars interested in performing empirical tests of formal models and those wishing to combine multiple methods in their research.
Thomas M. Carsey is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Illinois at Chicago.
The office of governor general (tsung-tu) was the highest provincial post throughout the Ch’ing dynasty. As such, it was a vital link in the control of a vast empire by a very small and alien ruling elite. This is primarily a biographical and statistical analysis of the incumbents of that office. By analyzing the biographical data of those who held the position of governor-general, much may be learned about the nature of the office itself. However, the main objective of the study is to provide information on career patterns, that is, the variety of different posts held from the first official appointment to that of governor-general, of an important cross section of successful Ch’ing bureaucrats. By plotting and analyzing the different patterns their official careers took, we should be able to determine what kind of men reached the top of China’s provincial and national administration during the final centuries of China’s imperial history; the qualifications that were required; the factors which prompted rapid promotion or sudden disgrace. We should also be able to determine the extent to which these and other factors varied markedly among Manchu, Mongol, Chinese Bannerman, and Han incumbents and whether changes throughout the dynasty can be detected in policies concerning the office or in the career patterns of its personnel. If such detection is possible, this study may lend support to the view that late imperial China was not static, but a society undergoing significant changes. [xi]
The wrenching events of the Civil War transformed not only the United States but also the men unexpectedly called on to lead their fellow citizens in this first modern example of total war. Jacob Dolson Cox, a former divinity student with no formal military training, was among those who rose to the challenge. In a conflict in which “political generals” often proved less than competent, Cox, the consummate citizen general, emerged as one of the best commanders in the Union army.
During his school days at Oberlin College, no one could have predicted that the intellectual, reserved, and bookish Cox possessed what he called in his writings the “military aptitude” to lead men effectively in war. His military career included helping secure West Virginia for the Union; jointly commanding the left wing of the Union army at the critical Battle of Antietam; breaking the Confederate supply line and thereby precipitating the fall of Atlanta; and holding the defensive line at the Battle of Franklin, a Union victory that effectively ended the Confederate threat in the West.
At a time when there were few professional schools other than West Point, the self-made man was the standard for success; true to that mode, Cox fashioned himself into a Renaissance man. In each of his vocations and avocations—general, governor, cabinet secretary, university president, law school dean, railroad president, historian, and scientist—he was recognized as a leader. Cox’s greatest fame, however, came to him as the foremost participant historian of the Civil War. His accounts of the conflict are to this day cited by serious scholars and serve as a foundation for the interpretation of many aspects of the war.
It was like a remake of The Cowboy and the Lady, except that this time they weren't friends. The 1990 Texas governor's race pitted Republican Clayton Williams, a politically conservative rancher and oil millionaire, against Democrat Ann Richards, an experienced progressive politician noted for her toughness and quick wit. Their differences offered voters a choice not only of policies and programs but also of stereotypes and myths of men's and women's proper roles. Claytie and the Lady is the first in-depth look at how gender affected the 1990 governor's race. The authors' analysis reveals that Ann Richards' victory was a result of a unique combination of characteristics. She was simultaneously tough enough to convince voters that she could lead and feminine enough to put them at ease. At the same time, she remained committed to the progressive and women's issues that had won her the early support of feminists and progressives. The authors also show how Clayton Williams' appeal to the Texas cowboy myth backfired when he broke the cowboy code of chivalry to women. The authors set their discussion within the historical context of twentieth-century Texas politics and the theoretical context of gender politics in order to pose a number of thought-provoking questions about the effects of women's participation in political life. Interviews with key players in the 1990 election, including Governor Ann Richards, add a lively and insightful counterpoint to the text.
Edward Coles was a wealthy heir to a central Virginia plantation, an ardent emancipator, the second governor of Illinois, the loyal personal secretary to President James Madison, and a close antislavery associate of Thomas Jefferson. Yet never before has a full-length book detailed his remarkable life story and his role in the struggle to free all slaves. In Crusade Against Slavery, Kurt E. Leichtle and Bruce G. Carveth correct this oversight with the first modern and complete biography of a unique but little-known and quietly influential figure in American history.
Rejecting slavery from a young age, Coles's early wishes to free his family's slaves initially were stymied by legal, practical, and family barriers. Instead he went to Washington, D.C., where his work in the White House was a life-changing blend of social glitter, secretarial drudge, and distasteful political patronage. Returning home, he researched places where he could live out his ideals. After considerable planning and preparation, he left his family's Virginia tobacco plantation in 1819 and started the long trip west to Edwardsville, Illinois, pausing along the Ohio River on an emotional April morning to free his slaves and offer each family 160 acres of Illinois land of their own. Some continued to work for Coles, while others were left to find work for themselves. This book revisits the lives of the slaves Coles freed, including a noted preacher and contributor to the founding of what is now the second-oldest black Baptist organization in America.
Crusade Against Slavery details Coles's struggles with frontier life and his surprise run and election to the office of Illinois governor as well as his continuing antislavery activities. At great personal cost, he led the effort to block a constitutional convention that would have legalized slavery in the state, which resulted in an acrimonious civil suit brought on by his political enemies, who claimed he violated the law by not issuing a bond of emancipation for his slaves. Although initially convicted by a partisan jury, Coles was vindicated when the Illinois Supreme Court overturned the decisions of the lower courts. Through the story of Coles's moral and legal battles against slavery, Leichtle and Carveth unearth new perspectives on an institution that was on unsure footing yet strongly ingrained in the business interests at the economic base of the fledgling state.
In 1831, after less than a decade in Illinois-and after losing a bid for Congress-Coles left for Philadelphia, where he remained in correspondence with Madison about the issue of slavery. Drawing on previous incomplete treatments of Coles's life, including his own short memoir, Crusade Against Slavery includes the first published analysis of Madison's failure to free his slaves despite his plans to do so through his will and a fascinating exploration of Coles's struggle to understand Madison's inability to live up to the ideals both men shared.
Defining Moments explores how all Arkansas governors since Sid McMath (a group that has produced a president, two U.S. senators, and two presidential contenders) acted in times of crisis. These ten exceptional leaders stand out in Arkansas history and politics for having had their personal and political mettle tested by issues concerning education, the environment, social justice, the conduct of politics, race, and more of the nation's defining debates. The governors and situations covered include Sid McMath's bout with the Dixiecrats; Francis Cherry's ploy to label his opponent a Communist; Orval Faubus's decision to block integration at Little Rock Central High; Winthrop Rockefeller's tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. on the State Capitol steps; Dale Bumpers's battle against political corruption; David Pryor's veto of the U.S. Corps of Engineers's Bell Folley Dam; Frank White's endorsement of Creationism; Bill Clinton's decision to test public school teachers; Jim Guy Tucker's bold solution for the Medicaid program and his resignation; and Mike Huckabee's quest to consolidate the state's high school districts. Robert Brown, who knew nine of the ten governors personally and worked as an aide for Dale Bumpers and Jim Guy Tucker, tells these stories with an unusual combination of historical research and personal familiarity. He crystallizes the difficult choices faced by these memorable leaders, showing how their decisions at crucial points shaped their tenures, molded their legacies for good or bad, and shaped history.
The death of David Leo Lawrence in 1966 ended a fifty-year career of major influence in American politics. In a front-page obituary, the New York Times noted that Lawrence, the longtime mayor of Pittsburgh, governor of Pennsylvania, and power in Democratic national politics, disliked being called Boss. But, the Times noted, “he was one anyway.”
Certainly Lawrence was a consumate politician. Born in a poor, working-class neighborhood, in the present-day Golden Triange of Pittsburgh, he was from boyhood an astute student of politics and a devoted Democrat. Paying minute attention to every detail at the ward and precinct level, he revived the moribund Democratic party of Pittsburgh and fashioned a machine that upset the long-entrenched Republican organization in 1932.
When “Davy” Lawrence, as he was affectionately known, won the gubernatorial election in 1958, he became the first Roman Catholic governor of Pennsylvania and the oldest. But he achieved his greatest public recognition as mayor of Pittsburgh. Taking office in 1945, at the close of World War II, this stalwart Democrat formed an alliance with the predominantly Republican business community to bring about the much acclaimed Pittsburgh Renaissance, transforming the downtown business district and persuading many large corporations to retain their national headquarters in Pittsburgh. In 1958 the editors of Fortune magazine name Pittsburgh as one of the eight best administered cities in America.
Don’t Call Me Boss examines the lengthy career of this remarkable politician. Using over one hundred interviews, as well as extensive archival material, Michael Weber demonstrates how Lawrence was able to balance his intense political drive and devotion to the Democratic party with the larger needs of his city and state. Although his administration was not free of controversy, as indicated by the city’s police and free work scandals. Lawrence showed that it was possible to make the transition from nineteenth-century political boss to modern municipal manager. He was one of the few politicians of the century to do so. When the undisputed bosses of other American cities - the Curleys, Pendergasts, and Hagues - were out of power and disgraced, Lawrence was elected governor of Pennsylvania.
More than twenty years after his death, David L. Lawrence and his success in rebuilding the city of Pittsburgh continue to serve as an example of effective urban leadership.
Joshua Chamberlain has fascinated historians and readers ever since his service in the Civil War caused his commanding officers to sit up and take notice when the young professor was on the field. What makes a man a gifted soldier and natural leader? In this compelling book, Diane Monroe Smith argues that finding the answer requires a consideration of Chamberlain’s entire life, not just his few years on the battlefield. Truly understanding Chamberlain is impossible, Smith maintains, without exploring the life of Joshua’s soul mate and wife of almost fifty years, Fanny. In this dual biography, Fanny emerges as a bright, talented woman who kept Professor, General, and then Governor Chamberlain on his toes. But you don’t have to take Smith’s word for it. Liberally quoting from years of correspondence, the author invites you to judge for yourself.
In this close, personal history, the result of eight years of intensive research, Reed finds Faubus to be an opaque man, “an insoluable mixture of cynicism and compassion, guile and grace, wickedness and goodness,” and, ultimately, “one of the last Americans to perceive politics as a grand game.”
New York Times Book Review Notable Book for 1997
1998 Certificate of Commendation, American Association for State and Local History
Now in paperback with a new preface, this comprehensive biography weaves the triumph and the tragedy of the public and private lives of the most famous of Wisconsin leaders, Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette. As a U.S. representative, governor of Wisconsin, and U.S. Senator, La Follette's political legacies have been long lasting; among them are the election of senators by constituents, creation of the Department of Labor and the Federal Trade Commission, women's suffrage, and workers' compensation.
Through the personal letters, diaries, and documents of the La Follette family, Unger uses the private life of La Follette as a means for understanding the public figure. Thoroughly researched and documented, Fighting Bob La Follette: The Righteous Reformer is a testament to the progressive tradition in Wisconsin and its premier leader.
Former Wisconsin governor Philip F. La Follette forged a political path characterized by his progressive, innovative vision. Growing up in the shadow of revered senator "Fighting Bob" La Follette made for a politically charged childhood and laid the groundwork for Phil's emergence as a powerful figure in Wisconsin politics. A gregarious and fiery politician, Phil's efforts led to the passage of the country's first unemployment compensation act, aid programs for workers and farmers, and the reorganization of state government.
This approachable, comprehensive book traces La Follette's journey through public office as well as his life after the waning of the Progressive era. Phil La Follette’s is a history of continuing progressivism, of innovative solutions to social problems, and of loyalty to a political ethos that goes far beyond love of country. Kasparek's treatment of this Fighting Son is a monument not only to La Follette but to progressive politics in Wisconsin.
Winner of the 2018 Current Events/Social Change Book Award from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Winner of the 2018 Bronze Current Events Book Award from the Independent Publisher Book Awards
Generations ago, gambling in America was an illicit activity, dominated by gangsters like Benny Binion and Bugsy Siegel. Today, forty-eight out of fifty states permit some form of legal gambling, and America’s governors sit at the head of the gaming table. But have states become addicted to the revenue gambling can bring? And does the potential of increased revenue lead them to place risky bets on new casinos, lotteries, and online games?
In Gangsters to Governors, journalist David Clary investigates the pros and cons of the shift toward state-run gambling. Unearthing the sordid history of America’s gaming underground, he demonstrates the problems with prohibiting gambling while revealing how today’s governors, all competing for a piece of the action, promise their citizens payouts that are rarely delivered.
Clary introduces us to a rogue’s gallery of colorful characters, from John “Old Smoke” Morrissey, the Irish-born gangster who built Saratoga into a gambling haven in the nineteenth century, to Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate who has furiously lobbied against online betting. By exploring the controversial histories of legal and illegal gambling in America, he offers a fresh perspective on current controversies, including bans on sports and online betting. Entertaining and thought-provoking, Gangsters to Governors considers the past, present, and future of our gambling nation.
The Gay Place
By Billy Lee Brammer University of Texas Press, 1995 Library of Congress PS3552.R282G3 1995 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Set in Texas, The Gay Place consists of three interlocking novels, each with a different protagonist—a member of the state legislature, the state's junior senator, and the governor's press secretary. The governor himself, Arthur Fenstemaker, a master politician, infinitely canny and seductive, remains the dominant figure throughout.
Billy Lee Brammer—who served on Lyndon Johnson's staff—gives us here "the excitement of a political carnival: the sideshows, the freaks, and the ghoulish comedy atmosphere" (Saturday Review).
Originally published in 1961, The Gay Place is at once a cult classic and a major American novel.
Earth Day creator Gaylord Nelson comes to vivid life in this addition to the Badger Biographies series for young readers. Accessibly written and richly illustrated with historic images, Gaylord Nelson: Champion for Our Earth includes a glossary of terms, sidebars on World War II, DDT, and several facets of the environmental movement, plus activities and discussion questions.
Born in Clear Lake, Wisconsin, in 1916, Gaylord grew up as immersed in his parents' political work and community service as he was in playing practical jokes and exploring the natural world surrounding his home town. Along the way he encountered experiences that would shape him in fundamental ways: as a man who stood up for what he believed in the face of opposition and yet who also understood how to treat his opponents with respect. Both traits would serve him well as he rose from law student to state senator to Wisconsin governor and finally to three terms as a United States Senator.
Nelson fought to treat all races equally and to condemn McCarthy-era paranoia, but his greatest contribution was to sound the alarm about another battle: the fight to save the natural world and the earth itself. It was his idea to use teach-ins to let people know that the environment needed their help. Thanks to him, more natural resources were conserved and new laws demanded clean air and water. Now, every year on April 22, people all over the world plant trees and pick up litter to celebrate Earth Day. The Earth and its inhabitants aren't safe yet, but Gaylord Nelson demonstrated that even one person can help to save the world.
George W. P. Hunt was a highly colorful Arizona politician. A territorial representative and seven-time Arizona state governor, Hunt joined Woodrow Wilson in making the Democratic Party the party of Progressive reform. This political biography follows Hunt through his years in the territorial legislature, and then as governor. Author David R. Berman’s well-researched and detailed work features Hunt’s battles to stem the powers of large corporations, democratize the political system, defend labor rights, reform the prison system, abolish the death penalty, and protect Arizona’s interests in the Colorado River. He had a special concern for the down and out. He found the "forgotten man" long before Franklin Roosevelt.
Hunt was proof that style and physical appearance neither guarantee nor preclude political success, for the three-hundred-pound man of odd dress and bumbling speech had a political career that spanned the state’s Populism of the 1890s to the 1930s New Deal. Driven by causes, he was very active in public office but took little pleasure in doing the job. Called names by opponents and embarrassed by his lack of formal education, Hunt sometimes showed rage, self-pity, and bitterness at what he saw as betrayals and conspiracies against him.
The author assesses Hunt’s successes and failings as a political leader and take-charge governor struggling to produce results in a political system hostile to executive authority. Berman offers a nuanced look at Arizona’s first governor, providing an important new understanding of Arizona’s complex political history.
Many have never heard of Governor Henry Horner of Illinois, yet his story is remarkable. Governor Henry Horner, Chicago Politics, and the Great Depression focuses on Horner’s career in law and politics from 1915 to 1940, while examining the economic and political dynamics of Illinois during the darkest period in American history. This principled governor managed to maintain his political integrity in a climate where honesty was a liability, says author Charles J. Masters, but the few historians who include Horner in their narratives offer contradictory and dismissive characterizations of him. Masters corrects the public record and reintroduces Horner to political lore as a man who brazenly fought both the Chicago Democratic machine that worked to plot his downfall and Roosevelt’s White House to steadfastly do right by the people of Illinois.
In this first book-length treatment of Horner in over thirty-five years, Masters traces the politician’s career, the history and politics of Chicago, and the effects of the Great Depression in Illinois. The volume details Horner’s life as a lawyer, probate judge, and two-term Democratic governor of Illinois. Horner’s relationships with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and such political players as Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna, “Bathhouse” John Coughlin, and Chicago mayors Carter Harrison, Anton Cermak, and Ed Kelly are set against a backdrop of assassination, political sniping, court-packing schemes, Prohibition, and the New Deal.
Governor Henry Horner, Chicago Politics, and the Great Depression examines the governor’s management of the political and economic challenges of the state when millions of Americans were jobless, homeless, and hungry. The severely divergent economic and political positions of the state’s northern industrial and southern agrarian interests made the period even darker. Masters shows how Horner stemmed foreclosures, dealt with bank closings, placated unpaid teachers, soothed massive labor unrest, fed the hungry, and confronted the ever-present threat of revolution. While Hitler’s Germany was spreading Nazism throughout Europe, some Americans were questioning the fundamental order of their own political system, suggesting that socialism, communism, or Nazism could offer a better way. Masters addresses how Horner, Illinois’ first Jewish governor, dealt with these challenges to the U.S. political system.
A story long absent from the historical record, GovernorHenry Horner, Chicago Politics, and the Great Depression offers a portrait of the man, his style of governance, his successes, and his failures. The volume, with eight illustrations, effectively reevaluates Horner’s historical reputation and role in Illinois politics in the midst of the worst economic depression in our nation’s history.
Governor Lady is the fascinating story of one of the most famous political women of her generation. Nellie Tayloe Ross was elected governor of Wyoming in 1924—just four years after American women won the vote—and she went on to be nominated for U.S. vice president in 1928, named vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee the same year, and appointed the first female director of the Mint in 1932. Ross launched her career when her husband, William Bradford Ross, the preceding governor, died, leaving her widowed with four sons and no means of supporting them. She was an ironic choice to be such a pioneer in women’s rights, since she claimed her entire life that she had no interest in feminism. Nevertheless, she believed in equal opportunity and advancement in merit irrespective of gender—core feminist values. The dichotomy between Ross’s career and life choices, and her stated priorities of wife and mother, is a critical contradiction, making her an intriguing woman.
Exhaustively researched and powerfully written, Governor Lady chronicles the challenges and barriers that a woman with no job experience, higher education, or training faced on the way to becoming a confident and effective public administrator. In addition to the discrimination and resentment she faced from some of her male associates, she also aroused the enmity of Eleanor Roosevelt, whom she displaced at the DNC.
Born exactly one hundred years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Ross lived to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial, so her long and remarkable life precisely spanned the second U.S. century. She was reared in the Victorian era, when upper- and middle-class women were expected to be domestic, decorative, and submissive, but she died as the women’s movement was creating a multitude of opportunities for young women of the 1970s. Nellie’s story will be of great interest to anyone curious about women’s history and biography. The contemporary American career woman will especially identify with Ross’s struggle to balance her career, family, and active personal life.
Although serious scandal erupted in Illinois Governor Richard Ogilvie’s administration— eight hundred thousand dollars mysteriously appearing in Secretary of State Paul Powell’s shoe boxes and other hiding places, the downfall of two Supreme Court justices for questionable stock dealings, corruption surrounding the Illinois State Fair— Ogilvie’s accomplishments, as Taylor Pensoneau demonstrates, rank him among the best governors in Illinois history.
Perhaps the most important of Ogilvie’s accomplishments during his single term in office (1969–1973) was the passage of the state’s first income tax in 1969. Supporting the income tax took political courage on the part of the new governor, but in doing so he saved the financially crippled state from economic disaster. He also looked far into the future; at a time when few politicians expressed concern with the environment, Ogilvie created an exemplary and hard-hitting antipollution program. He was in office during the Illinois Constitutional Convention in 1970 and was instrumental in the widespread restructuring of Illinois government.
Viewing Ogilvie as a pivotal figure in Illinois politics during a time of great social and political turmoil, Pensoneau provides a complete political biography. He sheds light on Ogilvie’s military heroics, his political career, and the Illinois elections of 1968, 1970, and 1972.
Long before Bill Clinton spoke of "triangulation," a term that referred to a centrist governing style, prior to Tony Blair repositioning the British Labor Party midway between Thatcher conservatism and militant trade unionism, and far ahead of George W. Bush referring to his agenda as "compassionate conservatism," there was Tom Kean. From the moment of his election to the New Jersey state assembly in 1967, through his guidance of the 9/11 Commission nearly three decades later, Kean consistently displayed a knack for bipartisan leadership.
In this first political biography of one of the nation's most popular and successful governors, Alvin S. Felzenberg tells the story of a remarkable career that culminated in an unexpected and crucial contribution to the country-chairmanship of the 9/11 Commission. Felzenberg describes how, early in his political career, Kean worked to transform New Jersey's legislature in the aftermath of court rulings that mandated redistricting in accordance with the "one man, one vote" principle. He discusses Kean's efforts to relieve the urban crisis that followed in the wake of the 1967 Newark riots. He relates how Kean was able to use the New Jersey governorship-purportedly the strongest in the country-to transform a so-called "rust belt" state into a leader in education, environmental responsibility, and economic growth.
Kean's successes in these and other areas caused leaders outside New Jersey to follow in his path. Together with his fellow governors, Kean forged a national consensus on domestic policy between Democratic congresses and Republican presidents, in the process winning for himself a leadership role in his own party. Kean's story serves as an uncommon case of how a Republican loyal to the historic roots and principles of his party can not only win election in a "blue state" but effectively govern it.
Starting from the example the governor set on the state level, Felzenberg's account traces Kean's career to positions of trusted authority on the national stage. After several years of advising presidents, Kean was appointed chairman of the 9/11 Commission. In this role, he made the bipartisan, Congressionally mandated commission one of the most successful in American history.
Drawing on interviews with Kean as well as with state and national leaders, including former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton and former New York City mayor Ed Koch, Felzenberg not only provides a marvelous biography, but also offers a unique look at American politics during the last four decades of the twentieth century.
From 1909 to 1913, Governor William Glasscock served the state of West Virginia as an ardent progressive and reformer. In his inaugural address he proclaimed government "the machinery invoked and devised by man for his benefit and protection” and good government the guarantor of the happiness, prosperity, success, and welfare of the people. Governor William Glasscock and Progressive Politics in West Virginia recounts the life and work of West Virginia’s thirteenth governor. Born during the Civil War, Glasscock witnessed a country torn by sectional, fratricidal war become a powerful industrial nation by the turn of the twentieth century. Author Gary Jackson Tucker demonstrates how Glasscock, along with others during the Progressive Era, railed against large and powerful political and economic machines to enact legislation protecting free and fair elections, just taxation, regulation of public utilities, and workmen’s compensation laws. Never hesitating to use the power of the state to stand firm against racism and mob rule, and placing his own personal safety in jeopardy, Glasscock won the praise and admiration of average people. Glasscock’s four years in office took his own health and financial security from him, but left behind a better government—a good government—for the people of West Virginia.
Governors and the Progressive Movement is the first comprehensive overview of the Progressive movement’s unfolding at the state level, covering every state in existence at the time through the words and actions of state governors. It explores the personalities, ideas, and activities of this period’s governors, including lesser-known but important ones who deserve far more attention than they have previously been given.
During this time of greedy corporations, political bosses, corrupt legislators, and conflict along racial, class, labor/management, urban/rural, and state/local lines, debates raged over the role of government and issues involving corporate power, racism, voting rights, and gender equality—issues that still characterize American politics. Author David R. Berman describes the different roles each governor played in the unfolding of reform around these concerns in their states. He details their diverse leadership qualities, governing styles, and accomplishments, as well as the sharp regional differences in their outlooks and performance, and finds that while they were often disposed toward reform, governors held differing views on issues—and how to resolve them.
Governors and the Progressive Movement examines a time of major changes in US history using relatively rare and unexplored collections of letters, newspaper articles, and government records written by and for minority group members, labor activists, and those on both the far right and far left. By analyzing the governors of the era, Berman presents an interesting perspective on the birth and implementation of controversial reforms that have acted as cornerstones for many current political issues. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of US history, political science, public policy, and administration.
Today, approximately half of all American states have lobbying offices in Washington, DC, where governors are also represented by their own national, partisan, and regional associations. Jennifer M. Jensen’s The Governors’ Lobbyists draws on quantitative data, archival research, and more than 100 in-depth interviews to detail the political development of this constellation of advocacy organizations since the early 20th century and investigate the current role of the governors’ lobbyists in the U.S. federal system.
First, Jensen analyzes the critical ways in which state offices and governors’ associations promote their interests and, thus, complement other political safeguards of federalism. Next, she considers why, given their apparent power, governors engage lobbyists to serve as advocates and why governors have created both individual state offices and several associations for this advocacy work. Finally, using interest group theory to analyze both material and political costs and benefits, Jensen addresses the question of interest group variation: why, given the fairly clear material benefit a state draws from having a lobbying office in Washington, doesn’t every state have one?
This assessment of lobbying efforts by state governments and governors reveals much about role and relative power of states within the U.S. federal system.
Governors' Mansions of the South
Ann Liberman, Photographs by Alise O'Brien, Foreward by Governor Jeb Bush University of Missouri Press, 2008 Library of Congress F210.L53 2008 | Dewey Decimal 725.170975
From the Greek Revival architecture found in Mississippi to the Queen Anne style of North Carolina, governors’ mansions in the American South convey a passion for antiquity, as well as a regional elegance. Ann Liberman, author of Governors’ Mansions of the Midwest, spent much of her life in Texas and admires the remarkable architecture of the antebellum South—a respect that she now brings to her newest book.
Governors’ Mansions of the South is devoted to the eleven states of the old Confederacy, plus Kentucky and West Virginia, and offers a brick-and-mortar reflection of the region’s rich history. It includes the country’s oldest governor’s mansion in continuous use, in Virginia, plus two built as recently as the 1960s, in Louisiana and Georgia. These mansions reflect an architectural cohesiveness found throughout the South, as Georgian, Federal, and Greek Revival styles imbue antebellum houses with a classical aura, while others built in the first quarter of the twentieth century reflect the monumental eclectic styles of the Beaux Arts era.
Liberman provides readers with a room-by-room guided tour of each of the buildings as she comments on their architecture, symbolism, and lore. She places the mansions in historical context, describing how their locations were chosen, how they were designed and decorated, and how they have been preserved, lost, or transformed over the years. While focusing primarily on the buildings themselves, she also highlights those governors and their wives who played significant roles in the mansions’ maintenance or renovation. Alise O’Brien’s accompanying color photographs capture the lavish interiors and furnishings as well as the dignified exteriors and landscapes.
“Living in the Governor’s Mansion is a remarkable honor,” writes former governor of Florida Jeb Bush in his foreword, “but it is also a constant, humbling reminder that the people who occupy the mansions are, indeed, the public’s servants.” For site visitors or architecture buffs, Governors’ Mansions of the South is an enlightening introduction to these historic executive homes, reminding us that, however opulent, they provide a personal connection between the public and its government—and connect past generations to the present.
Rogues, aristocrats, and a future U.S. president. These and other governors are portrayed in this revised and updated edition of the classic reference work on the chief executives of New Jersey. Editors Michael J. Birkner, Donald Linky, and Peter Mickulas present new essays on the governors of the last three decades—Brendan T. Byrne, Thomas Kean, James Florio, Christine Todd Whitman, Donald DiFrancesco, James McGreevey, Richard Codey, and Jon Corzine. The essays included in the original edition are amended, edited, and corrected as necessary in light of new and relevant scholarship.
The authors of each governor’s life story represent a roster of such notable scholars as Larry Gerlach, Stanley Katz, Arthur Link, and Clement Price, as well as many other experts on New Jersey history and politics. As a result, this revised edition is a thorough and current reference work on the New Jersey governorship—one of the strongest in the nation.
Also of Interest:
New Jersey Politics and Government
The Suburbs Come of Age
Barbara G. Salmore with Stephen A. Salmore
978-0-8135-6139-4 paper $34.95
A volume in the Rivergate Regionals Collection
My Life in the Rough-and-Tumble World of New Jersey Politics
Richard J. Codey
978-0-8135-5045-9 cloth $24.95
The Life and Times of Richard J. Hughes
The Politics of Civility
John B. Wefing
978-0-8135-4641-4 cloth $32.50
Governor Tom Kean
From the New Jersey Statehouse to the 911 Commission
Alvin S. Felzenberg
978-0-8135-3799-3 cloth $29.95
Gubernatorial Transitions examines the processes by which power was transferred following the 1983 and 1984 gubernatorial elections in Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia. It also discusses incumbent succession in Indiana and the role of lieutenant governors.
One of Missouri's best-known leaders of the Progressive Era, Joseph W. Folk epitomized the moral reformer in politics. As a crusading district attorney in St. Louis, Folk won national acclaim for his investigations of wrongdoing in municipal government. With the help of muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens, Folk revealed for the first time the extent of political corruption then plaguing America's cities and helped bring about a popular demand for the regeneration of municipal government nationwide.
A firm believer that the law was a weapon with which to check political corruption and restrain powerful special interests, Folk popularized the "Missouri Idea," the doctrine that public office is a public trust, not merely an opportunity for private gain. Elected as governor of Missouri in 1904, Folk orchestrated a remarkable record of legislative accomplishment. He established himself as one of Missouri's outstanding governors and one of the nation's leading progressive reformers.
In asserting that traditional moral values could be applied to politics, Folk became known among friends and enemies as Holy Joe. His refusal to make any distinction between public and private morality, however, alienated some Missourians, while his disregard for party organization angered politicians. His idealism cost him political advancement and ultimately a place in national politics.
Whereas some studies of the Progressive Era have minimized the moral dimension of Progressivism and downplayed the importance of reformers like Joseph W. Folk, Holy Joe establishes him as a major leader of the Progressive movement. This biography will be a welcome addition to the literature on the subject.
In 1904 the Russian Governor-General in Helsinki, Nikolai Ivanovich Bobrikov, was assassinated by a Finnish nationalist. In this study by Finland’s leading diplomatic historian, Tuomo Polvinen examines the tense and troubled relationship of Finland to the tsarist empire and the nature of Russian nationality policy at the turn of the century. Bobrikov’s appointment to the Grand Duchy of Finland in 1898 by Nicholas II led to a policy of intensified Russification that ended nearly a century of political equilibrium between the two states. With access to previously unavailable Russian archival material, Polvinen provides a uniquely balanced and informed view of this dramatic new phase in Russian-Finnish relations. Presenting Bobrikov in the overall context of Russian policy toward Finland, Polvinen investigates such issues as Bobrikov’s goals for Finland, the effect of Russian politics on its Finnish policy, and the influence of Russian journalists during this crucial period. Offering insight into the workings of the Russian government and its borderland policy during a time of rising international tension, Imperial Borderland will attract readers of Baltic, Finnish, Russian, and Scandinavian history. Those with an interest in the continuing importance of nationalism and nationalities policy in this region of the world will also find this book valuable.
Barbour, a Virginia contemporary of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, during a long public career spanning the years 1798-1842, exerted a constructive influence on the nation’s history. Active in state and national politics during the formative decades of the republic, Barbour was a political nationalist who grafted to the dominant political philosophy of the day those elements of the Hamiltonian Federalist creed necessary for governing a dynamic, changing nation.
Barbour’s life affords a unique vantage point for viewing party politics in the South and the nation during the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian periods, for understanding Jeffersonian Republicanism, and for comprehending the difficulties a Southern agrarian had in embracing the economic and political realities at the dawn of the modern commercial age.
John Calvin Brown was a Confederate general, Tennessee politician, railroad executive, and lawyer, and yet he is little known to today’s Americans. He left behind few personal papers and died relatively young despite his remarkably productive life, leaving his voice silent while historical debate raged over events in which he was a significant player.
John C. Brown of Tennessee is the first full-scale biography of this understudied figure. Author Sam Davis Elliott’s comprehensive research reveals how Brown rose to the rank of general in the Confederate Army of Tennessee. A five-time wounded veteran of nearly every one of the army’s battles from Fort Donelson to Franklin, Brown played a unique utility role as a division commander in the 1864 Atlanta Campaign. There is a substantial likelihood he was an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan after the war, but more well-established is his role as leader in the anti-Brownlow movement that sought to end Radical Reconstruction in Tennessee. He was selected president of the 1870 constitutional convention, which helped lead to his election as governor later that year. After his tumultuous time as governor seeking to resolve economic conflicts that began before the Civil War, he became a railroad executive and industrialist. He had a significant role in the struggle between rival financiers for control of the southern route to the Pacific, and was in the front lines of management on behalf of the Texas and Pacific Railroad during the Great Southwest Railroad Strike of 1886. His wide-ranging and successful career reflects not only the attributes of Brown’s character, but provides insight into many key events of nineteenth-century America.
John C. Brown of Tennessee fills not only a biographical but a historiographical gap in the literature on the Civil War and Reconstruction in Tennessee and the post-Confederate South.
Illinois State Historical Society Certificate of Excellence 2016
During the predawn hours of December 9, 2008, an FBI team swarmed the home of Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich and took him away in handcuffs. The shocking arrest, based on allegations of corruption and extortion, launched a chain of political events never before seen in Illinois. In A Just Cause, Bernard H. Sieracki delivers a dynamic firsthand account of this eight-week political crisis, beginning with Blagojevich’s arrest, continuing through his impeachment and trial, and culminating in his conviction and removal from office. Drawing on his own eyewitness observations of the hearings and trial, the comments of interviewees, trial transcripts, and knowledge gained from decades of work with the Illinois legislature, Sieracki tells the compelling story of the first impeachment and removal from office of an Illinois governor, while providing a close look at the people involved.
A Just Cause depicts Blagojevich as a master of political gamesmanship, a circus ringmaster driven by personal ambition and obsessed with private gain. Sieracki examines in depth the governor’s unethical behavior while in office, detailing a litany of partisan and personal hostilities that spanned years. He thoroughly covers the events leading to Blagojevich’s downfall and the reactions of the governor’s cohorts. The author discusses the numerous allegations against Blagojevich, including attempts to “sell” appointments, jobs, and contracts in exchange for financial contributions. Sieracki then exhaustively recounts Blagojevich’s senate trial and the governor’s removal from office.
This engrossing volume is both a richly detailed case study of the American checks-and-balances system and an eyewitness account of unprecedented events. It will appeal to anyone interested in the stunning, true tale of a state upholding the maxim “The welfare of the people is the supreme law.”
Written in lucid, vigorous prose, La Follette's Autobiography is the famous Wisconsin senator's own account of his political life and philosophy. Both memoir and a history of the Progressive cause in the United States, it charts La Follette's formative years in politics, his attempts to abolish entrenched, ruthless state and corporate influences, and his embattled efforts to advance Progressive policies as Wisconsin governor and U.S. senator. With a new foreword by Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive—the magazine that La Follette himself founded—the Autobiography remains a powerful reminder of the legacies of Progressivism and reform and the enduring voice of the man who fought for them.
When Ann Richards delivered the keynote of the 1988 Democratic National Convention and mocked President George H. W. Bush—“Poor George, he can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth”—she instantly became a media celebrity and triggered a rivalry that would alter the course of American history. In 1990, Richards won the governorship of Texas, upsetting the GOP’s colorful rancher and oilman Clayton Williams. The first ardent feminist elected to high office in America, she opened up public service to women, blacks, Hispanics, Asian Americans, gays, and the disabled. Her progressive achievements and the force of her personality created a lasting legacy that far transcends her rise and fall as governor of Texas. In Let the People In, Jan Reid draws on his long friendship with Richards, interviews with her family and many of her closest associates, her unpublished correspondence with longtime companion Bud Shrake, and extensive research to tell a very personal, human story of Ann Richards’s remarkable rise to power as a liberal Democrat in a conservative Republican state. Reid traces the whole arc of Richards’s life, beginning with her youth in Waco, her marriage to attorney David Richards, her frustration and boredom with being a young housewife and mother in Dallas, and her shocking encounters with Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter. He follows Richards to Austin and the wild 1970s scene and describes her painful but successful struggle against alcoholism. He tells the full, inside story of Richards’s rise from county office and the state treasurer’s office to the governorship, where she championed gun control, prison reform, environmental protection, and school finance reform, and he explains why she lost her reelection bid to George W. Bush, which evened his family’s score and launched him toward the presidency. Reid describes Richards’s final years as a world traveler, lobbyist, public speaker, and mentor and inspiration to office holders, including Hillary Clinton. His nuanced portrait reveals a complex woman who battled her own frailties and a good-old-boy establishment to claim a place on the national political stage and prove “what can happen in government if we simply open the doors and let the people in.”
The Life and Times of Richard J. Hughes explores the influential public service of this two-term New Jersey governor. He was the only person in New Jersey history to serve as both governor and chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.
This biography illuminates the governor's accomplishments between 1962 and 1970, including the creation of the Hackensack Meadowlands Commission, formation of the county college system, establishment of stringent antipollution laws, design of the public defender system, and the adoption of a New Jersey sales tax, as well as his pivotal role during the Newark riots. As chief justice, Hughes faced difficult issuesùschool funding, low and moderate income housing needs, freedom of speech, and his decision in the rightto-die case involving Karen Ann Quinlan. With a career characterized by liberal activism, Hughes also contributed nationally and internationally, from serving as host of the 1964 Democratic National Convention to monitoring elections in South Vietnam.
John B. Wefing's research includes interviews with prominent politicians and leaders who worked with Hughes at various points in his career. The result is a rich story of a public servant who possessed a true ability to work with members of both political parties and played a significant role in shaping modern New Jersey.
Over the course of the Civil War, fifty-nine men served as governors of the twenty-five Union states. Although these state executives were occasionally obstructionist and often disagreed amongst themselves, their overall cooperation and counsel bolstered the policies put forth by Abraham Lincoln and proved essential to the Union’s ultimate victory. In this revealing volume, award-winning historian William C. Harris explores the complex relationship between Lincoln and the governors of the Union states, illuminating the contributions of these often-overlooked state leaders to the preservation of the nation.
Lincoln recognized that in securing the governors’ cooperation in the war he had to tread carefully and, as much as possible, respect their constitutional authority under the federal system of government. Contributing to the success of the partnership, Harris shows, was the fact that almost all of the governors were members of Lincoln’s Republican or Union Party, and most had earlier associated with his Whig party. Despite their support for the war, however, the governors reflected different regional interests, and Lincoln understood and attempted to accommodate these differences in order to maintain a unified war effort.
Harris examines the activities of the governors, who often worked ahead of Lincoln in rallying citizens for the war, organizing state regiments for the Union army, and providing aid and encouragement to the troops in the field. The governors kept Lincoln informed about political conditions in their states and lobbied Lincoln and the War Department to take more vigorous measures to suppress the rebellion. Harris explores the governors’ concerns about many issues, including the divisions within their states over the war and Lincoln’s most controversial policies, especially emancipation and military conscription. He also provides the first modern account of the 1862 conference of governors in Altoona, Pennsylvania, which provided important backing for Lincoln’s war leadership.
By emphasizing the difficult tasks that both the governors and President Lincoln faced in dealing with the major issues of the Civil War, Harris provides fresh insight into the role this dynamic partnership played in preserving the nation’s democratic and constitutional institutions and ending the greatest blight on the republic—chattel slavery.
Richard James Oglesby is best known for introducing the rail-splitter image into Abraham Lincoln's successful presidential campaign of 1860, and in many ways his career ran parallel to Honest Abe's. This biography of the three-time governor of Illinois offers the first detailed view of a key figure in the great changes that swept Illinois and the country from the Jacksonian era through the Gilded Age.
Like Lincoln, Oglesby was born in Kentucky and spent most of his youth in central Illinois, apprenticing as a lawyer in Springfield and standing for election to the Illinois legislature, Congress, and U.S. Senate. Oglesby participated in the battles of Cerro Gordo and Vera Cruz during the Mexican-American War and made a small fortune in the gold rush of 1849. A superlative speaker, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in a campaign that featured the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, then was elected to the Illinois senate as Lincoln was being elected president.
When the Civil War came, Oglesby resigned his senate seat to lead a regiment of the Union Army. Critically wounded at the Battle of Corinth, he was promoted to major general before resigning his commission to run successfully for governor of Illinois. Oglesby was at Lincoln's deathbed and led the effort to build the sixteenth president's tomb in Springfield, delivering the major oration at its dedication. In the postwar years, Oglesby drew on his popularity, his association with the martyred Lincoln, and his extraordinary stump-speaking skills to rescue the Illinois Republican Party in a time of political crisis. In his third term as governor, Oglesby faced massive labor unrest in the aftermath of the Haymarket affair.
A mature and thoughtful biography, Lincoln's Rail-Splitter chronicles Oglesby's pivotal contribution to American political life while also providing a sensitive portrait of this able, energetic man.
Examines the political career of Alabama’s “Big Jim” Folsom
At the end of World War II changing economic and social forces transformed the lives of Alabamians, whose political leaders had built careers on localistic politics shaped by established economic and governmental interests. Into this context strolled “Big Jim”—six feet eight inches tall—with his corn-shuck mop, wooden suds bucket, and a promise to scrub out the Capitol. Ridiculed by his opponents, Folsom advertised his progressive program in every crossroads community.
As governor, Folsom faced a legislature dominated by local politicians whom he had bypassed during the campaign, and although he won approval of some bills, legislative opposition made his administration a four-year filibuster.
Not until 1955, after his election to a second term, did Folsom become an effective leader. Tying programs for expanded services to the local interests of the legislators, he won approval for road construction, “old-age pensions,” industrial development, and reorganization of the state docks. But the lawmakers balked at constitutional reform.
As his reform efforts met defeat during 1956, Folsom was losing his ability to lead. He refused to exploit racial tensions, and the rise of the civil rights movement undermined his popularity among whites. Unwilling to discipline his aides and supporters, his administration became notorious for petty graft. By 1958 aspiring candidates kept their distance from Folsom. “Big Jim” attempted a comeback in the 1962 campaign, but he was never again to hold public office.
Lucius Fairchild: Civil War Hero introduces young readers to a great Wisconsin soldier-statesman. From panning for gold, to losing an arm during a Civil War battle, to campaigning hard for elections, Lucius learned early that it takes courage and persistence to succeed.
Lucius's life brimmed with adventure. As a young man, he headed west across sprawling prairies and high mountains to seek his fortune in California's gold mines. Finding little gold, Lucius tried his hand as a beef supplier and made his money there. When volunteers were needed to fight in the Civil War, Lucius proclaimed, "no one can take a clatter at that . . . more easily than I can." Lucius grieved over the loss of his men of the Iron Brigade in battles like that of Brawner's Farm, and his own left arm was shattered at Gettysburg. With the glow of a returning hero, Lucius went on to win three terms as governor of Wisconsin, and then to secure diplomatic posts in Europe.
Yet, even as Lucius advanced his own career, he (like his contemporary Cordelia Harvey) never forgot the importance of serving others. As governor and first lady, Lucius and his wife, Frances, swiftly came to the aid of Peshtigo Fire victims. And as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, he made helping veterans top priority.
Sidebars on the California Gold Rush, military rank, Free States and Slave States, the Iron Brigade, and the Gettysburg Address complement this history-rich biography.
On Earth Day 1970 twenty million Americans displayed their commitment to a clean environment. It was called the largest demonstration in human history, and it permanently changed the nation’s political agenda. More than 1 billion people now participate in annual Earth Day activities.
The seemingly simple idea—a day set aside to focus on protecting our natural environment—was the brainchild of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. It accomplished, far beyond his expectations, his lifelong goal of putting the environment onto the nation’s and the world’s political agendas.
The life of Nelson, a small-town boy who learned his values and progressive political principles at an early age, is woven through the political history of the twentieth century. Nelson’s story intersects at times with Fighting Bob La Follette, Joe McCarthy, and Bill Proxmire in Wisconsin, and with George McGovern, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Russell Long, Walter Mondale, John F. Kennedy, and others on the national scene.
Winner, Elizabeth A. Steinberg Prize, University of Wisconsin Press
George H. Ryan, Illinois governor from 1999 to 2003, became nationally known for two significant and very different reasons. The first governor in the United States to clear out his state’s death row and put a moratorium on the death penalty, he was also convicted and sent to prison on corruption charges. The Man Who Emptied Death Row: Governor George Ryan and the Politics of Crime details the career of a man who both enhanced and tarnished the image of the highest office in Illinois and examines the political history and culture that shaped him.
Author James L. Merriner explores the two very different stories of George Ryan: the brave crusader against the death penalty and the petty crook. An extensive analysis of the official record, exclusive interviews, and previously undisclosed incidents in Ryan’s career expose why the governor pardoned or commuted the sentences of all 171 prisoners on Illinois’s death row before leaving office and how he later was convicted of eighteen counts of official corruption.
This biography traces Ryan’s family history and the Illinois political climate that influenced his development as a politician. Although Ryan championed “good-government” initiatives—organ donations, tougher drunken-driving and lobbyist disclosure laws—he never overcame a reputation as a wheeler-dealer, notes Merriner.
Merriner goes beyond Ryan’s life and career to explore the politics of crime, highlighting the successes and failures of the criminal justice system and suggesting how both white-collar fraud and violent crime shape politics. A fascinating story that reveals much about the way Illinois politics works, The Man Who Emptied Death Row will help determine how history will judge Illinois governor George Ryan.
Among all the fifty-six men who have served as New York’s governor, none was more complicated, self-righteous, pugilistic, and exasperating than Mario Cuomo.
As governor, Mario Cuomo is remembered most for his advocacy of the “personally-opposed-but” position on abortion that led to confrontations with Catholic Church hierarchy, and for dithering about his presidential ambitions, that led the media to dub him the “Hamlet on the Hudson.” His political style reminded many of Machiavelli; Cuomo styled himself a successor to St. Thomas More.
In this political profile, George J. Marlin sets the record straight on Mario Cuomo.
Marlin traces Cuomo’s political rise and documents how and why he abandoned his public opposition to abortion to be elected New York’s chief executive.
In great detail, Marlin describes the protracted conflict between Cuomo and his church on abortion and refutes the governor’s claim that his “position on abortion is absolutely theologically sound.”
Marlin critiques Cuomo’s famous 1984 Democratic convention speech as nothing more than the usual high-toned partisan liberal bromides that offered little, if anything, that hadn’t been touted by his party for half a century.
The book also uncovers New York State’s fiscal, economic, and social decline during Cuomo’s 12 years as governor. It explains why voters repudiated Cuomo’s version of a welfare state when he sought a fourth term in 1994 and why, in the words of his son, Governor Andrew Cuomo, his father was “more accomplished as a speech-giver than as a governor.”
Marlin skillfully separates the Cuomo “Public Intellectual” myth from the political man.
Mario Cuomo, three times Governor of New York, an eloquent hard edged Catholic from Queens, dominated not only his home state but national liberal politics in the age of Reagan. Whether the subject was police or theology, Cuomo rhetorically overpowered the reporters who covered him. But he’s finally met his match in George Marlin’s Mario Cuomo The Myth and the Man. Marlin’s extraordinary equipment; a former candidate for Mayor of N.Y.C., former executive director of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority, author of books on Catholic voters and the Archbishops of New York, has made him the ideal author of what’s sure to be seen as the definitive political biography of Mario Cuomo. —Fred Siegel, Author, The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York, and the Genius of American Life and The Future Once Happened Here: New York, D.C., L.A., and the Fate of America’s Big Cities.
“It’s easy to forget what an important and fascinating figure Mario Cuomo was during New York’s raucous political heyday of the 1970s, 80s and 90s, when the likes of Hugh Carey, Ed Koch, Al D’Amato, and Rudy Giuliani strode the political stage. Thankfully, George Marlin’s wonderful new Cuomo biography will help everyone remember both the good and bad of the remarkable man who served three terms as governor, turned down a seat on the Supreme Court and rejected the chance to run for President. Here are both Cuomo’s successes and failures — and of the latter there were many. An important work that helps restore our collective memory. — Fredric U. Dicker, the New York Post’s longtime state editor and a TV and radio commentator, covered six governors during 40 years at the state Capitol in Albany.
George Marlin is virtually peerless in blending high principle with knowledge of street-level politics and the nuts-and-bolts of otherwise mundane governance to produce readable, yet deeply insightful, social and political portraits. Mario Cuomo: The Myth and the Man, examines in fine detail one of one of New York state’s most consequential, if also deeply flawed, 20th-century gubernatorial incumbencies. Plus, readers get a bonus: Insight into what shaped the career of Mario Cuomo’s Democratic superstar son, Andrew. Marlin has been in the trenches himself and thus can separate blarney from beefsteak – which this fine volume once again demonstrates. —Bob McManus, Contributing Editor, The City Journal, was the New York Post’s Editorial Page Editor (2000-2013), and The Albany Times Union’s Executive City Editor (1975-1981).
“George Marlin not only captures the political life and journey of Mario Cuomo, but details his policy approach that led to the near demise of the Empire State. Fortunately, the Conservative Party of New York was there to carry the torch and provide the margin of victory for George Pataki ending the senior Cuomo’s reign.” —Michael Long, State Chairman, Conservative Party of New York (1988-2019)
“For both better and worse, Mario Cuomo was the quintessential American Catholic politician of an entire postwar generation: ambitious, brilliant, articulate, serious about his faith, and flexible in how and where he applied it. George Marlin is a writer of considerable skill, and he uses here it to produce a provocative, absorbing portrait of the man and his career. —Francis X. Maier, Senior Fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center
A reformer who was always colorful, provocative, and controversial, Dan Walker became a political maverick, taking on Mayor Richard J. Daley’s vaunted Chicago machine and the powerful incumbent Richard Ogilvie to become the governor of Illinois. The Maverick and the Machine tells the dramatic story of Walker’s rise from dirt-poor beginnings to the pinnacle of power in Illinois and his conviction on charges of bank fraud that landed him in federal prison. This frank volume also probes the inner sanctum of the governorship and reviews the investigations of Governor Blagojevich’s administration and the criminal trial of former governor George Ryan.
Best Memoir of 2008, San Diego Book Awards
Illinois State Historical Society Certificate of Excellence, 2008
And so, a new chapter in the life of Richard J. Codey, an undertaker's son born and bred in the Garden State, began on the night of August 12, 2004--he knew from that point his life would never be the same . . . and it hasn't been. His memoir is a breezy, humorous, perceptive, and candid chronicle of local and state government from a man who lived among political movers and shakers for more than three decades. Codey became governor of New Jersey, succeeding James McGreevey, who resigned following a homosexual affair--a shattering scandal and set of circumstances that were bizarre, even for the home state of the Sopranos. At once a political autobiography, filled with lively, incisive anecdotes that record how Codey restored respectability and set a record for good politics and good government in a state so often tarnished, this is also the story about a man and his family.
Claiborne Fox Jackson (1806-1862) remains one of Missouri's most controversial historical figures. Elected Missouri's governor in 1860 after serving as a state legislator and Democratic party chief, Jackson was the force behind a movement for the neutral state's secession before a federal sortie exiled him from office. Although Jackson's administration was replaced by a temporary government that maintained allegiance to the Union, he led a rump assembly that drafted an ordinance of secession in October 1861 and spearheaded its acceptance by the Confederate Congress. Despite the fact that the majority of the state's populace refused to recognize the act, the Confederacy named Missouri its twelfth state the following month. A year later Jackson died in exile in Arkansas, an apparent footnote to the war that engulfed his region and that consumed him.
In this first full-length study of Claiborne Fox Jackson, Christopher Phillips offers much more than a traditional biography. His extensive analysis of Jackson's rise to power through the tangle that was Missouri's antebellum politics and of Jackson's complex actions in pursuit of his state's secession complete the deeper and broader story of regional identity--one that began with a growing defense of the institution of slavery and which crystallized during and after the bitter, internecine struggle in the neutral border state during the American Civil War. Placing slavery within the realm of western democratic expansion rather than of plantation agriculture in border slave states such as Missouri, Philips argues that southern identity in the region was not born, but created. While most rural Missourians were proslavery, their "southernization" transcended such boundaries, with southern identity becoming a means by which residents sought to reestablish local jurisdiction in defiance of federal authority during and after the war. This identification, intrinsically political and thus ideological, centered—and still centers—upon the events surrounding the Civil War, whether in Missouri or elsewhere. By positioning personal and political struggles and triumphs within Missourians' shifting identity and the redefinition of their collective memory, Phillips reveals the complex process by which these once Missouri westerners became and remain Missouri southerners.
Missouri's Confederate not only provides a fascinating depiction of Jackson and his world but also offers the most complete scholarly analysis of Missouri's maturing antebellum identity. Anyone with an interest in the Civil War, the American West, or the American South will find this important new biography a powerful contribution to our understanding of nineteenth-century America and the origins—as well as the legacy—of the Civil War.
This richly illustrated volume tells the story of thehome that has served as Ohio’s executive residence since 1957, and of the nine governors and their families who have lived in the house. Our First Family’s Home offers the first complete history of the residence and garden that represent Ohio to visiting dignitaries and the citizens of the state alike. Once in a state of decline, the house has been lovingly restored and improved by itsresidents. Development of the Ohio Heritage Garden has increased the educational potential of the house and has sparked an interest in the preservation of native plant species. Looking toward the future, the Residence is also taking the lead in promoting environmental issues such as solar powerand green energy.
Photographs by award-winning environmental photographer Ian Adams and botanical art by Dianne McElwain showcase the beauty of the home’s architecture and the myriad of native plants that grace the three acres on which the Residence stands. Dianne McElwain is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists in New York. Her botanical paintings have won numerous awards and are found in prestigious collections throughout the United States.
Essays highlight the Jacobethan Revival architecture and the history of the home. The remaining pieces cover the garden and include an intimate tour of the Heritage Garden, which was inspired by Ohio’s diverse landscape. Finally, Governor Ted Strickland and First Lady Frances Strickxadland discuss the increasing focus on green energy at the Governor’s Residence and First Lady Emerita Hope Taft explains how native plants can help sustain the environment.
Vladimir Fedorovich Dzhunkovsky was a witness to Russia’s unfolding tragedy—from Tsar Alexander II’s Great Reforms, through world war, revolution, the rise of a new regime, and finally, his country’s descent into terror under Stalin. But Dzhunkovsky was not just a passive observer—he was an active participant in his troubled and turbulent times, often struggling against the tide. In the centennial of the Russian revolution, his story takes on special significance.
Highly readable, Overtaken by the Night captivates on many levels. It is a gripping biography of a man of many faces, a behind-the-curtain look at the inner workings of Russian politics at its highest levels, and also an engrossing account of ordinary Russians engulfed by swiftly moving political and social currents.
Dzhunkovsky served as a confidant in the tsar’s imperial court and as governor in Moscow province during and after the 1905 revolution. In 1913 he became the empire’s security chief, determined to reform the practices of the dreaded tsarist political police, the Okhrana. Dismissed from office for daring to investigate and warn Tsar Nicholas about Rasputin, his path led him into combat on the battlefields of the First World War. A natural leader of men, he held his units together even as revolution spilled into the trenches. Arrested as a counterrevolutionary in 1918 and imprisoned until 1921, Dzhunkovsky avoided execution thanks to an outpouring of public support and his reputation for treating revolutionaries with fairness and dignity. Although later he consulted for the Stalinist secret police, he was tried and executed in 1938 as an enemy of the people.
Based on Dzhunkovsky’s detailed memoirs and extensive archival research, Overtaken by the Night paints a fascinating picture of an important figure. Dzhunkovsky's incredible life reveals much about a long and crucial period in Russian history. It is a story of Russia in revolution reminiscent of the fictional Doctor Zhivago, but perhaps even more extraordinary for being true.
As Wisconsin governor from 1971 to 1977, Patrick J. Lucey pursued an ambitious progressive agenda, tempered by the concerns of a fiscal conservative and a pragmatic realist. He was known for bridging partisan divides, building coalitions, and keeping politics civil. His legacy, which included merging Wisconsin’s universities into one system and equalizing the funding formula for public schools, continues to impact Wisconsin residents and communities.
Preceding his service as governor, Lucey played a key role in rebuilding the Democratic Party in Wisconsin, returning a state that had been dominated by Republicans to a more moderate two-party system. As party chairman, he built coalitions between World War II veterans, remnants of the defunct Progressive Party, urban socialists, and activists in rural communities throughout the state.
Through exclusive interviews and unprecedented access to archival materials, Dennis L. Dresang shares the story of this pivotal figure in Wisconsin history, from his small-town rural roots to his wide-ranging influence.
John Patterson, Alabama governor from 1959 to 1963, was thrust into the Alabama political arena after the brutal murder of his father, attorney general Albert Patterson in 1954. Allowed by the Democratic Party to take his father’s place and to complete the elder’s goal of cleaning up corruption in his hometown Phenix City, Patterson made a young, attractive, and sympathetic candidate. Patterson for Alabama details his efforts to clean up his hometown, oppose corruption in the administration of Governor Big Jim Folsom, and to resist school desegregation. Popular on all three counts, Patterson went on to defeat rising populist George Wallace for governor.
Patterson’s term as governor was marked by rising violence as segregationists violently resisted integration. His role as a champion of resistance has clouded his reputation to this day. Patterson left office with little to show for f his efforts and opposed for one reason or another by nearly all sectors of Alabama. Stymied in efforts to reclaim the governorship or a seat on the Alabama state Supreme Court, Patterson was appointed by Wallace to the state court of criminal appeals in 1984 and served on that body until retiring in 1997. In 2004, he served as one of the justices who removed the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore for ignoring a federal court order.
Pedro Pino, or Lai-iu-ah-tsai-lu (his Zuni name) was for many years the most important Zuni political leader. He served during a period of tremendous change and challenges for his people. Born in 1788, captured by Navajos in his teens, he was sold into a New Mexican household, where he obtained his Spanish name. When he returned to Zuni, he spoke three languages and brought with him a wealth of knowledge regarding the world outside the pueblo. For decades he ably conducted Zuni foreign relations, defending the pueblo's sovereignty and lands, establishing trade relationships, interacting with foreigners-from prominent military and scientific expeditions to common emigrants-and documenting all in a remarkable archive. Steeped in Zuni traditions, he was known among other things for his diplomatic savvy, as a great warrior, for his oratory, and for his honesty and hospitality.
More than a biography, Richard Hart's work provides a history of Zuni during an especially significant period. Also the author of Zuni and the Courts: A Struggle for Sovereign
Land Rights and the co-author of A Zuni Atlas, Hart originally wrote the manuscript in 1979 after a decade of historical work for Zuni Pueblo. He then set it aside but continued to pursue research about and for Zuni. Its publication, at last, inscribes an important contribution to Pueblo history and biography and a testimonial to a remarkable Native American leader. In an afterword written for this publication, Hart discusses his original intentions in writing about Pedro Pino and Zuni and situates the biography in relation to current scholarship.
Florida governor Reubin Askew memorably characterized a leader as “someone who cares enough to tell the people not merely what they want to hear, but what they need to know.” It was a surprising statement for a contemporary politician to make, and, more surprising still, it worked. In The Politics of Trust: Reubin Askew and Florida in the 1970s, Gordon E. Harvey traces the life and career of the man whose public service many still recall as “the Golden Age” of Florida politics.
Askew rose to power on a wave of “New South” leadership that hoped to advance the Democratic Party beyond the intransigent torpor of southern politics since the Civil War. He hoped to replace appeals to white supremacy with a vision of a more diverse and inclusive party. Following his election in Florida, other New South leaders such as Georgia’s Jimmy Carter, Arkansas’s Dale Bumpers, and South Carolina’s John C. West all came to power.
Audacious and gifted, Askew was one of six children raised by a single mother in Pensacola. As he worked his way up through the ranks of the state legislature, few in Florida except his constituents knew his name when he challenged Republic incumbent Claude R. Kirk Jr. on a populist platform promising higher corporate taxes. When he won, he inaugurated a series of reforms, including a new 5 percent corporate income tax; lower consumer, property, and school taxes; a review of penal statutes; environmental protections; higher welfare benefits; and workers’ compensation to previously uncovered migrant laborers.
Touting honesty, candor, and transparency, Askew dubbed his administration “government in the sunshine.” Harvey demonstrates that Askew’s success was not in spite of his penchant for bold, sometimes unpopular stances, but rather because his mix of unvarnished candor, sober ethics, and religious faith won the trust of the diverse peoples of his state.
Promises Kept: A Memoir
Sidney S. McMath University of Arkansas Press, 2003 Library of Congress F411.M14 2003 | Dewey Decimal 976.7053
Winner of the 2006 Booker Worthen Literary Prize and the 2004 Ragsdale Award.
Sidney Sanders McMath was a pivotal figure not only in Arkansas history but in the history of the Democratic Party and of American law. Still vibrant and engaged in his nineties, he sets out his story in full for the first time: how he rose and fell in public office, and rose again as a lawyer seeking justice for ordinary people.
McMath divides his story into four parts. In the first, he describes how his early life in rural Arkansas sparked his commitment to people. The second section describes his service to democracy in the military, including his commission in the U.S. Marines, a battlefield promotion in the Pacific and other honors, and his subsequent advancement to the rank of major general.
The revealing third section details McMath’s extraordinary life in politics, starting with his explosive debut in 1945, when he and other recent veterans dethroned one of Arkansas’s most powerful and corrupt political machines. Later, as a two-term governor, he fulfilled this promise of reform and modernization: he brought the first roads and electricity to rural areas, fought the poll tax, and built the state’s first medical center. He also helped change the party’s rules so that black citizens could vote in primaries. McMath describes how he worked with President Truman to keep the segregationist Dixiecrats from taking over the Democratic Party—and the presidency.
But here his story takes a dramatic turn: political opponents alleged bribery in his highway program, and although no indictments were handed down, McMath’s political career ended. Arguing his case for the first time in fifty years, he sets the facts straight.
McMath turned to the practice of law to fight for the people he had represented as governor. In the concluding section of the book he describes some of his most important cases, examples of how he put his life’s experience, knowledge, and integrity in the service of those who had few resources. These stories show exactly why he has been honored with membership in such exclusive groups as the Inner Circle of Advocates as well as the presidency of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.
Promises Kept shows us the excitement and the hard choices of real democracy, offering compelling human stories, new information on past conflicts, and the crucial perspective of a man at the center of history.
Oregon entered a new era in 1964 with the election of Tom McCall as Secretary of State and Bob Straub as State Treasurer. Their political rivalry formed the backdrop for two of Oregon’s most transformative decades, as they successively fought for, lost, and won the governorship. Veteran Oregon journalist Floyd McKay had a front-row seat.
As a political reporter for The Oregon Statesman in Salem, and then as news analyst for KGW-TV in Portland, McKay was known for asking tough questions and pulling no punches. His reporting and commentaries ranged from analysis of the “Tom and Bob” rivalry, to the Vietnam War’s impact on Senators Wayne Morse and Mark Hatfield and the emergence of a new generation of Portland activists in the 1970s.
McKay and his colleagues were on the beaches as Oregon crafted its landmark Beach Bill, ensuring the protection of beaches for public use. They watched as activists turned back efforts to build a highway on the sand at Pacific City. Pitched battles over Oregon’s Bottle Bill, and the panic-inducing excitement of “Vortex”—the nation’s only state-sponsored rock festival—characterized the period. Covering the period from 1964-1986, McKay remembers the action, the players and the consequences, in this compelling and personal account.
As major actors fade from the scene and new leaders emerge, McKay casts a backwards glance at enduring Oregon legends. Half a century later, amid today’s cynicism and disillusionment with media, politics, and politicians, Reporting the Oregon Story serves as a timely reminder that charged politics and bitter rivalries can also come hand-in-hand with lasting social progress.
Reporting the Oregon Story will be relished by those who lived the history, and it will serve as a worthy introduction to Oregonians young and old who want a first-hand account of Oregon’s mid- twentieth-century political history and legislative legacy.
Nikki Haley has been an emerging force in American politics, her star power burnished over a decade that has seen her move from the national spotlight to the global stage. In Rising Star, political scientist Jason A. Kirk analyzes her ascendance in the Republican Party, from her governorship of South Carolina—during which she faced extraordinary challenges in a state reckoning with tragedy, race, and its own history—to her elevated profile as Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, where, as the daughter of immigrants and a woman of color, she became the face of his America First policy to the world. In considering a wide range of perspectives, Kirk illuminates how the combination of Haley’s political talents and her identity as an Indian American, Christian, southern woman has made her an unlikely bridge between the Trump years and the GOP’s embattled path forward.
"This is an important book about an important public official, G. Mennen 'Soapy' Williams---an unabashed liberal, a true humanitarian, and a great patriot."
"Soapy Williams had a deep talent not only to compel but on occasion to repel."
---John Kenneth Galbraith
"Thomas Noer has written a model biography of a fascinating political figure. He brings Williams to life with all his contradictions, old-fashioned qualities, and admirable idealism."
---Robert Divine, George W. Littlefield Professor Emeritus in American History, University of Texas
"G. Mennen 'Soapy' Williams was not only a giant in the 20th century history of the Michigan Democratic Party, the history of the state of Michigan and our nation-he was a giant ahead of his time. Throughout his long and extremely distinguished career as Governor of Michigan, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Soapy maintained an unwavering commitment to equality, justice and civil rights for all people."
---Senator Carl Levin
In this first complete biography of G. Mennen "Soapy" Williams, author Thomas Noer brings to life the story of one of the most controversial and colorful politicians in twentieth-century American politics and a giant in the Michigan Democratic Party.
In 1948, winning a stunning upset, Williams became Michigan's second Democratic governor since the Civil War and was reelected five times. He served under Kennedy and Johnson as Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, briefly held the post of U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, and was a member of the Michigan Supreme Court from 1970 to 1986, serving as Chief Justice in his last term.
Sporting his instantly recognizable trademark green and white polka-dot bow tie, Williams was a flamboyant character. He was also known for his energetic campaign style: he could say "hello" in seventeen languages, would shake hands with as many as five thousand factory workers a day, and made seemingly endless diplomatic trips to Africa. All of this captured the attention of the media and the public and made Williams into a celebrity.
Beneath his showy public persona, however, Williams also made important contributions to American diplomatic and political history. He built an unrivaled political machine in Michigan, bringing organized labor, African Americans, and ethnic groups into a new coalition; influenced the shift in American policy toward support for African independence; and wrote landmark decisions as a jurist on the Michigan Supreme Court.
The fascinating story of a complex and complicated man, Soapy will introduce one of the great American political figures of the twentieth century to a new generation of readers.
Whereas other studies have focused on George Wallace’s career as a national figure, Stand Up for Alabama provides a detailed, comprehensive, and analytical study of Wallace’s political life that emphasizes his activities and their impact within the state of Alabama. Jeff Frederick answers two fundamental questions: What was George Wallace’s impact on the state of Alabama? Why did Alabamians continue to embrace him over a twenty-five year period? Using a variety of sources to document the state’s performance in areas including mental health, education, conservation, prisons, and industrial development, Frederick answers question number one. He cites comparisons between Alabama and both peer states in the South and national averages. Wallace’s policies improved the state, but only in relation to Alabama’s past, not in relation to peer states in the region or national averages. As a result, energy was expended but little progress was made.
To answer the second question, Frederick uses the words of Alabamians themselves through oral history, correspondence, letters to the editor, and other sources. Alabamians, white and eventually black, supported Wallace because race was but one of his appeals. Stand Up for Alabama shows that Wallace connected to Alabamians at a gut level, reminding them of their history and memory, championing their causes on the stump, and soothing their concerns about their place in the region and the nation.
Jeff Frederick examines the development of policy during the Wallace administrations and documents relationships with his constituents in ways that go beyond racial politics. He also analyzes the connections between Wallace’s career and Alabamians’ understanding of their history, sense of morality, and class system. “Stand up for Alabama” was the governor’s campaign slogan.
Standing at the Water’s Edge chronicles the life of a unique, and perhaps unlikely, political figure in Oregon’s history: former Governor Robert W. Straub.
A man of intelligence, drive, creativity, and fascinating contradictions, Straub overcame personal challenges and inevitable comparisons to his charismatic predecessor and friendly Republican rival, Tom McCall, to have a lasting impact on Oregon and the nation. Charles Johnson shares insights into Straub’s significant legacy, focusing on his leading role in the state’s financial and environmental issues and his influence on McCall. Johnson also reveals much of Straub’s warm personal story, along with his secret struggles, including his battle with depression while Governor.
Standing at the Water’s Edge offers rich descriptions of other intriguing political figures of the time as well, capturing the flavor of what has been called Oregon’s political “golden age” of the sixties and seventies—created in part by the symbiotic relationship between Straub and McCall—and describing how and why it ended.
Standing at the Water’s Edge is an essential addition to the literature about Oregon’s political leaders for historians, political scientists, and general readers interested in Oregon history.
James J. Florio is best known as governor of New Jersey from 1990 to 1994. But his career in local, state, and national government is far more varied, and his achievements as a progressive reformer are more substantial than most realize.
This political memoir tells the remarkable story of how Florio, a high school dropout who left to join the Navy as a teenager, went on to become an attorney, a state assemblyman, a congressman, and a governor. A passionate defender of the environment, Florio played a crucial role in the enactment of 1980s-era Superfund laws, which helped to clean up toxic waste sites in New Jersey and around the country. As governor, he fought for the groundbreaking Clean Water Enforcement Act. But his reforms quite literally came at a cost, as he raised New Jersey sales taxes and income taxes to balance the state budget. Florio reflects upon the challenges of meeting the state’s budgetary needs while keeping his tax-averse constituents happy.
Standing on Principle reveals a politician who has never been afraid to take a progressive stand—including a firm stance against semiautomatic weapons that led gun lobbyists to bankroll his opponent. His story is sure to inspire readers from New Jersey and across the nation.
Published in cooperation with the Center on the American Governor, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University
Terry Sanford (1917–1998) was one of the most important public figures of the postwar South. First as North Carolina’s governor and later as president of Duke University, he demonstrated a dynamic style of progressive leadership marked by compassion and creativity. This book tells the story of Sanford’s beginnings, his political aspirations, his experiences in office, and, of course, his numerous accomplishments in the context of a period of revolutionary change in the South. After defeating a segregationist campaign in 1960 to win the governorship, Sanford used his years in office to boost public education and advance race relations. A decade later, at the height of tumult on American campuses, Sanford assumed the presidency of Duke University and led it to its position as one of the top universities in the nation. During his more than fifty years as a public servant he was associated with presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter. Sanford was a presidential candidate himself in 1972 and 1976, and he won election to the United States Senate in 1986 where his international commission produced an economic recovery plan for Central America. As one of the last New Deal Democrats in the Senate, he remained passionate about the opportunity for leaders to use government to improve people’s lives. Terry Sanford draws on Sanford’s considerable private and public archive as well as on the recollections of Sanford himself and his family, colleagues, and friends. This biography offers a unique perspective on North Carolina life, politics, political personalities, and the shifting public allegiances of the second half of the twentieth century that transformed life both in North Carolina and throughout the American South.
This first comprehensive biography of Thomas Goode Jones records the life of a man whose political career reflects the fascinating and unsettled history of Alabama and the Deep South at the turn of the twentieth century.
Often overshadowed by the pharaonic antebellum period, the Civil War, and the luminous heights of the civil rights movement, the deceptively placid decades at the turn of the century were, in fact, a period when southerners fiercely debated the course of the South’s future. In tracing Jones’s career, Brent J. Aucoin offers vivid accounts of the great events and trends of that pivotal period: Reconstruction, the birth of the “Solid South,” the Populist Revolt, and the establishment of racial disenfranchisement and segregation.
Born in 1844, Jones served in the Confederate army and after the war identified as a conservative “Bourbon” Democrat. He served as Alabama's governor from 1890 to 1894 and as a federal judge from 1901 until his death in 1914. As a veteran, politician, and judge, Jones embodied numerous roles in the shifting political landscape of the South.
Jones was not, however, a reflexive conformist and sometimes pursued policies at odds with his party. Jones’s rhetoric and support of African American civil rights were exceptional and earned him truculent criticism from unrepentant racist factions in his party. His support was so fearless that it inspired Booker T. Washington to recommend Jones to Republican president Theodore Roosevelt as a federal judge. On the bench, Jones garnered national attention for his efforts to end peonage and lynching, and yet he also enabled the establishment of legalized segregation in Alabama, confounding attempts easily to categorize him as an odious reactionary or fearless progressive.
A man who both represented and differed from his class, Thomas Goode Jones offers contemporary readers and scholars an ideal subject of study to understand a period of southern history that still shapes American life today.
Tommy: My Journey of a Lifetime
Tommy G. Thompson and Doug Moe University of Wisconsin Press, 2018 Library of Congress F586.42.T47A3 2018 | Dewey Decimal 977.5043092
The many facets of Tommy G. Thompson—small-town grocer's son, brash campaigner with a common touch, shrewd political strategist, savvy policy wonk, and ebullient promoter of Wisconsin—come across vividly in these pages. Thompson, with journalist Doug Moe, traces his journey from boyhood to politics to the world stage, including his unprecedented four terms as Wisconsin governor, his service as a cabinet secretary under President George W. Bush, and his continuing work in global efforts to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Personal and revealing stories punctuate the biographical details and policy discussions. Here is Tommy as a young man, just happening to be on the National Mall in 1964 when Dr. Martin Luther King told the nation "I have a dream." Here is Tommy as Wisconsin governor, struggling to start a Harley-Davidson motorcycle before leading "a pack of Hell's Republicans" on a ride through the state. Here is Tommy in Washington after the 9/11 attacks, slipping out of a secure bunker (in defiance of orders) to aid the emergency medical response.
Thompson speaks candidly of his achievements and regrets, including his involvement with welfare reform, school choice, land conservancy, prisons, the financing of Miller Park, stem cell research, and health insurance.
Few people in the nineteenth-century American West could boast the achievements of Peter Burnett. He helped organize the first major wagon train to the Oregon Country. He served on Oregon’s first elected government and was Oregon’s first supreme court judge. He opened a wagon road from Oregon to California. He worked with the young John Sutter to develop the new city of Sacramento. Within a year of arriving in California, voters overwhelmingly elected him as the first US governor. He also won appointment to the California Supreme Court.
It was one heck of a resume. Yet with the exception of the wagon road to California, in none of these roles was Burnett considered successful or well remembered. Indeed, he resigned from many of his most important positions, including the governorship, where he was widely perceived a failure.
Burnett’s weakness was that he refused to take advice from others. He insisted on marching to his own drum, even when it led to some terrible decisions. A former slaveholder, he could never seem to get beyond his single-minded goal of banning blacks and other minorities from the West.
The Troubled Life of Peter Burnett is the first full-length biography of this complicated character. Historians, scholars, and general readers with an interest in Western history will welcome R. Gregory Nokes’ accessible and deeply researched account.
Why Not the Best?, originally published in 1975, is President Carter’s presidential campaign autobiography, the book that introduced the world to Georgia governor Jimmy Carter and asked the American people to demand the best and highest standards of excellence from our government.
Strange as it may seem today, William Clark—best known as the American explorer who joined Meriwether Lewis in leading an overland expedition to the Pacific—has many more claims to fame than his legendary Voyage of Discovery, dramatic and daring though that venture may have been. Although studies have been published on virtually every aspect of the Lewis and Clark journey, Wilderness Journey is the first comprehensive account of Clark’s lengthy and multifaceted life.
Following Lewis and Clark’s great odyssey, Clark’s service as a soldier, Indian diplomat, and government official placed him at center stage in the national quest to possess and occupy North America’s vast western hinterland and prefigured U.S. policies in the region. In his personal life, Clark had to overcome challenges no less daunting than those he faced in the public arena. Foley pays careful attention to the family and business dimensions of Clark’s private world, adding richness to this well-rounded and revealing portrait of the man and his courageous life.
Coinciding with the bicentennial in 2004 of the departure of Lewis and Clark’s famed Corps of Discovery, Wilderness Journey fills a major gap in scholarship. Intended for the general reader, as well as for specialists in the field, this fascinating book provides a well-balanced and thorough account of one of America’s most significant frontiersmen.
Few people today remember John Swainson. As a teenage soldier he lost both legs in a WWII landmine explosion. Back in the United States, following a meteoric political rise in the Michigan State Senate, Swainson was elected as Michigan's youngest governor since Stevens T. Mason.
In 1970 Swainson was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court, becoming one of the few public officials to have served in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of state government. Then, in 1957, he was indicted on federal charges of bribery and perjury, and convicted of lying to a federal grand jury. Forced to leave the state Supreme Court and disbarred from practicing law, he became a pariah, sinking into depression and alcoholism. He virtually disappeared from public view.
Lawrence M. Glazer re-examines the FBI's investigation of Swainson and delves into his 1975 trial in detail. He reveals new information from eye-witnesses who never testified and, in a poignant coda, relates the little-known story of Swainson's rehabilitation and return to public life as a historian.