Saturday, March 13, 2004

I'm reading a biography which I found in the stacks and checked out from the local library, The Wild Man from Sugar Creek. It's the life and political career of Eugene Talmadge, once Commissioner of Agriculture, later Governor, of Georgia. A tale of cotton farmer and lawyer turned stump speaker, who turned his knowledge and experience of the poor white farmer's struggle into Populist success. Unfortunately, he will probably be known more for his racism than for his intelligence and ability. Am still reading the book, but so far I gather that he missed a chance in history to usher in the era of Civil Rights.

But then again, he wouldn't have become the success he was, if he had been inclined to show kindness and justice to the Black folk. What White politicians in Georgia have made a name for themselves by being the first to admit the end of an era? I'd appreciate any suggestions for reading material

One more thought--reading Talmadge's bio, written by William Anderson, reminds me of Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men. However the writing falls short. It is, nonetheless, instructive, and fills in a gap for me in American and Southern history.
Speaking of this classic by R.P.W., you may wish to refer to this review of a new edition which includes AtKM and the play on which it was based, Proud Flesh, which went unpublished in Robert Penn Warren's lifetime.

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