"My life has been given special purpose," Jake Pickle says. "Some men live to make money, drink, chase women, collect art, excel at a sport, or pursue other things that give them pleasure. The thing I got hooked on was helping people. And I've had the privilege of helping people by the thousands. Serving in Congress was the greatest honor of my life."
In this book, Jake Pickle tells the story of a lifetime in public service, including thirty-one years as Representative for Texas' Tenth Congressional District. Jake tells his story by telling stories—most of them humorous, some poignant—that add up to a warmly personal account of his life and career.
At the heart of the book are Jake's stories of political life in Washington, Austin, and on the campaign trail. These range from hilarious accounts of all that can and does happen at small-town Texas parades and rallies to clear, no-baloney explanations of some of the major legislation that Jake helped to pass. His stories about Social Security reform, tax-exempt organizations, and pension fund reform legislation make these complex topics easy to understand.
This book was written as a collaboration between Jake and his daughter, Peggy Pickle. It offers the fun of listening to a born raconteur spin his tales, while it reveals the ethics and integrity of a man who never forgot that the people elected him to serve them.
Senate majority leader Joseph Taylor Robinson was undoubtedly one of the most powerful U.S. senators of the early twentieth century. An important political figure in Arkansas from the time he was elected to the state legislature in 1895, Joe T., as he was popularly called became nationally prominent when he ascended to the Democratic leadership of the U.S. Senate in 1923.
Robinson’s career spanned momentous legislative debates in the chambers of the Senate, such as the League of Nations charter, the Teapot Dome Scandal, and FDR’s plan to “pack” the Supreme Court. His run for the vice-presidency in 1928, the first Southerner on a major ticket after the Civil War, and his three terms as chairman of the Democratic National Convention, in 1920, 1928, and 1936, are all covered in this perceptive study.
Civil rights leader and legislator Lloyd A. Barbee frequently signed his correspondence with "Justice for All," a phrase that embodied his life’s work of fighting for equality and fairness. An attorney most remembered for the landmark case that desegregated Milwaukee Public Schools in 1972, Barbee stood up for justice throughout his career, from defending University of Wisconsin students who were expelled after pushing the school to offer black history courses, to representing a famous comedian who was arrested after stepping out of a line at a protest march. As the only African American in the Wisconsin legislature from 1965 to 1977, Barbee advocated for fair housing, criminal justice reform, equal employment opportunities, women’s rights, and access to quality education for all, as well as being an early advocate for gay rights and abortion access.
This collection features Barbee’s writings from the front lines of the civil rights movement, along with his reflections from later in life on the challenges of legislating as a minority, the logistics of coalition building, and the value of moving the needle on issues that would outlast him. Edited by his daughter, civil rights lawyer Daphne E. Barbee-Wooten, these documents are both a record of a significant period of conflict and progress, as well as a resource on issues that continue to be relevant to activists, lawmakers, and educators.
Smith Morrill: Almost every land-grant college or university in the United States has a building named for him; but are his contributions truly recognized and understood? Here is the first biography on this renowned statesman in six decades. Representative and then senator from Vermont, Morrill began his tenure in Congress in 1855 and served continuously for forty-three years. His thirty- one years in the upper chamber alone earned him the title "Father of the Senate." Coy F. Cross reveals a complex and influential political figure who, as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, and then the Senate Finance Committee, influenced American economic policy for nearly fifty years.
Morrill's most-recognized achievements are the pieces of legislation that bear his name: the Morrill land-grant college acts of 1862 and 1890. His legacy, inspired by the Jeffersonian ideal of an educated electorate, revolutionized American higher education. Prior to this legislation, colleges and universities were open primarily to affluent white men and studies were limited largely to medicine, theology, and philosophy. Morrill's land-grant acts eventually opened American higher education to the working class, women, minorities, and immigrants. Since 1862, more than 20 million people have graduated from the 104 land-grant colleges and universities spawned by his grand vision. In this long-overdue study, Cross shows the "Father of Land-Grant Colleges" to be one of America's formative nineteenth- century political figures.
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