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The Earl of Louisiana (Southern Biography Series) Paperback – February 1, 2008


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The Earl of Louisiana (Southern Biography Series) + Inside the Carnival: Unmasking Louisiana Politics + Louisiana: A History
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Product Details

  • Series: Southern Biography Series
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press; Updated edition (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807133434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807133439
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A staff writer for the New Yorker from 1935 until his death in 1963, A. J. Liebling also served during World War II as a correspondent for that magazine in France, England, and North Africa. He wrote a number of books, including The Honest Rainmaker, The Sweet Science, and Normandy Revisited.

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Customer Reviews

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He brings to life these great characters.
Chris
Reading Liebling is best done in a reclining chair under a hot sun at an empty pool.
Pugwash
Read ANY book A.J.Liebling wrote-He was a treasure!
M. Belchic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Belchic on August 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
As a life long resident of Louisiana and student of history,I can say this is one of the finest (and funniest!) books written about any of our politicians-So much has been written about the Long family, especially Uncle Earl, but Mr. Liebling really "gets" it-He captured the weird, wacky flavor of our #1 spectator sport, politics-Although this book was written over 50 years ago, so much remains the same-And that's not always a bad thing! Read ANY book A.J.Liebling wrote-He was a treasure!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pugwash on December 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A.J. Liebling is a National Treasure. In reading his musings on boxing, he turns phrases and employs language that makes perusing the fight game fascinating even though the principals have not laced up gloves in over sixty years, and many of the fighters have been banished to anonymity.

In this book, Liebling turns his considerable talent to Earl Long, the brother of Huey "Kingfish" Long, and the long-ago Governor of Louisina. The author makes the contention that Long was even more fearless than his assassinated brother, and blazed a trail to liberalism in a Southern State using his brilliant street smarts, and eccentric personality.

Liebling illustrates one such story of Long's compassion brilliantly, in sifting through 1960's politics to bring it. The story involves a group of "negro" leaders visiting him to complain that the local hospital had not hired enough "colored" nurses. Long, who was not a segregationist (they abounded in the late 1950's in the south) told the leaders that he would get more nurses hired, but they would not like how he did it.

Long went to the hospital and visited a room with two "colored" patients. When a white nurse walked in to check their vitals, Long began screaming that it was an abomination to have white people drawing blood from "niggers", and this would surely lead to miscegenation, and was an effrontery to God's plan. Within months, there was a nursing corps that was almost half black. Long cared about all his constituents, and was cagey enough to know how to play the politics of the era.

Liebling makes Long a larger than life figure, and in his prose, also delivers a look at the South in a time capsule.

Reading Liebling is best done in a reclining chair under a hot sun at an empty pool.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Customer on July 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book so very much. Like the old saying goes, "They broke the mold after they made (Earl Long)". I'd like to know Earl Long's life story. It must have been an "interesting" up-bringing to have shaped this quirky, big-hearted politician.
The author is a superb writer. His style really grabbed my imagination. Tell me another story, A. J. Liebling!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris on January 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book by A.J. Liebling is an absolute American treasure. He brings to life these great characters. The depiction of Uncle Earl Long is incredible. You really feel that you are following the ups and downs of the 1959-1960 political campaigns in Louisiana. Liebling's way with words is excellent and the humor will make you still laugh out loud. He includes wonderful anecdotes about Long and the other candidates running for Governor of the 'Great State of Louisiana'.

'The Earl of Louisiana' is simply one of the best reads about politics that you will ever read. People who think politics are crazy now should definitely pick this book up and see how far we have not come. There needs to be more color in politics now to make people interested in them like they use to be. There is no one like these characters now and the media would not allow it anyway. Liebling's book will show a reader what state politics use to be really like. Also, the issue of race is well discussed and the awful race baiting that was used by some candidates to get elected is excellently depicted.

Huey Long and Earl Long are quite simply two of the most intriguing politicians that you will ever encounter in American history.

A good book to read in conjunction with 'The Earl of Louisiana' is the wonderful Pulitzer Prize winning biography by T. Harry Williams 'Huey Long' to find out about a family that left its indelible mark on Louisiana and national politics.

A+++

Highly recommended! As good as it gets!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eugene A Jewett on January 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
AJ Liebling, with a language and a style all his own, is a marvelously entertaining writer as presented in this story about Earl Long's gubenatorial race for the governorship of Louisiana at the end of the 1960's. The tale is an axiom for one of Einsteins favorite sayings: "that everything that counts can't always be counted, and that which can be counted doesn't always count." It's why Johnny Unitas didn't get drafted and why Kurt Warner was bagging groceries before getting his chance in the NFL. Sometimes someones talent is just too subjective to be easily recognized, and that's Earl.

Earl Long, the subject of the book, is none other than the brother of "the Kingfish" aka Hughie Long, the former governor and lead character in Wm Penn Warren's book, "All the Kings men." As those who know American history, Hughie was asassinated in 1935 by a disgruntled Louisianian who took dispute with hughie's populist ways. His brother Earl is a pea from the same pod and of a more colorful character you've never read. Curtis Wilkie, author of "Dixie" calls it the best political book he ever read.

The backdrop for the story is the great state of Louisiana, a land like no other in the "lower 48." The language has a patois all its own with Earl exhibiting an incredible capacity for amusing and outraging just about every voting block in the state. As he burns the candle at both ends with seemingly inexhaustible energy, Liebling gets it down pat chronicling Earls adventures thru a rollicking campaign where Earl has the bad taste and ultimate misfortune to die at the end.

If you're a political junkie, don't miss it!
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