Kefauver : A Political Biography

3.66 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
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Product details

  • Hardback | 444 pages
  • 147.32 x 213.36 x 40.64mm | 884.5g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Ill.
  • 0195014812
  • 9780195014815

Review Text

This biography of the ebullient Senator suffers from an excessively close focus on and identification with his personality and too little analysis of the issues and social pressures which shaped his political life. Kefauver, who became famous through his attacks on organized crime, monopoly pricing, and drug company abuses, was born into a prosperous old Tennessee family, worked as a corporation lawyer during most of the '30's, and gained a House seat in 1939 as a New Dealer, firmly supporting TVA and Lend-Lease. His political motivation is left unclear on these points. Kefauver became the major antagonist of the Dixon-Yates move to abolish public power in the early 50's as well as an opponent of the McCarran Act; he had a contradictory voting record on HUAC appropriations, a spotty record on labor issues, and an utterly bewildering series of positions on civil rights. Kefauver's passion went into his anti-crime and anti-price fixing crusades, his battles with the Memphis-based Crump machine, his struggles with local racist-conservative challengers, and his 1952 and 1956 primary campaigns against Adlai Stevenson. Substituting eulogy for broad political analysis and leaning on public opinion polls and inside campaign stories rather than fully depicting Kefauver's political life, Gorman's book does not cover the whole story, especially the early '60's campaign against the drug companies. Footnotes though they hardly help. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

3 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
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4 67% (2)
3 33% (1)
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