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Ol' Strom: An Unauthorized Biography of Strom Thurmond Hardcover – January 1, 2003


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Hardcover, January 1, 2003
$24.93 $2.00

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (January 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570035148
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570035142
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,943,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ol' Strom is a workmanlike, largely anecdotal biography of the oldest--and longest-serving--United States senator in American history. Jack Bass and Marilyn W. Thompson provide a political education to younger readers who only know Thurmond as the congressional landmark who, too proud to wear a hearing aid, urges witnesses in Senate hearings to "speak into the machine." Among the book's highlights are an account of Thurmond's 1948 presidential campaign, in which he carried four states and established the vitalness of the South for future aspirants to the White House (as well as firmly setting down a political platform of racial divisiveness that would set the tone for the civil rights era a decade later), and his successful 1954 write-in campaign for the Senate seat he's held ever since. There's also plenty of detail concerning Thurmond's legendary sexual appetite: he was so notorious in Washington that Lyndon Johnson forbade his daughter to go out with him. (She was in high school; he just a few years shy of 60.) Another Senate colleague got off perhaps the best one-liner summing up the Thurmond mystique: "When he dies, they'll have to beat his pecker down with a baseball bat in order to close the coffin lid." Reading Ol' Strom, you won't doubt that assessment for a single second. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Strom Thurmond may be "Ol' Strom" to many whites?he is here portrayed as a savvy political curmudgeon?yet no member of Congress worked harder to uphold segregation and defeat the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s. Bass (Taming the Storm, LJ 1/93) and Thompson (Washington Post) are highly regarded journalists who covered Thurmond from the 1960s through the early 1980s. Thurmond's most notorious role was as the 1948 presidential candidate of the white supremacist Dixiecrat faction of the Democratic party. He switched to the Republican party in 1964 to support Goldwater and in 1968 played an important part in Nixon's victory. By 1970, Thurmond realized the necessity of serving all South Carolinians, and during the 1980s he voted to extend the Voting Rights Act and supported funding for historically black colleges. No one has served in the Senate longer than Thurmond, now 96 and first elected in 1952. Nadine Cohodas's Strom Thurmond and the Politics of Southern Change (S. & S., 1993) is a more comprehensive biography, but this lighter account is recommended for public libraries.?Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book does a marvelous job capturing the essence of Strom Thurmond, political master. The book is concise but complete, very well written and readable. Knowing Sen. Thurmond ran for President as a Dixiecrat in 1948 and some of his race baiting campaigns of the 1950s, I have always had a negative impression. This book exposed me to a much broader perspective - Thurmond's liberalism at county education superintendent, providing adult literacy classes to both blacks and whites in the 1920s, his record as governor in the 1940s insisting of the fair prosecution of whites involved in South Carolina's last lynching, and a political career that now spans seven decades. The book could be a text on how to campaign aggressively for public office, using Thurmond as an example; or a text on superior constituent service, using Thurmond as an example; or a text on political endurance or courage, using Thurmond as an example. The book describes authoritatively his womanizing, not limited to his two wives (the first wife was 21 when they married, he was 44; second wife was 22 when they married, he was 66). The authors really know their subject well, having covered his campaigns and public service for decades, and having conducted numerous interviews with family, friends and former close aides. Strom Thurmond will be 100 years old when his current term ends, and he is still effective in the U. S. Senate. Reading this book helps greatly to explain why.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andre M. on October 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I once had the pleasure of sharing a flight with the author Jack Bass. The man is a walking encyclopedia of anecdotes of South Carolina history and political lore and he was quite entertaining. Reading his take on Thurmond, who he knew well, is similar to an actual conversation with Bass. Put it to you this way, reading this book is like listening to some old-timers reminisce around the cracker barrel in front of the general store. Not a scholarly work,but an enjoyable one. BTW, I wish he would have gone into detail about Thurmond''s meeting with Coretta Scott King. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to hear what the former supreme segregationist had to say to the widow of Dr. King.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jim Suarez on December 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Insightful, provacative...You may not like Strom, but this book
will make you view him in a different light. This book doesn't take sides. It does give you a view of someone many have thought of as a not very bright, but who has outlived or outsmarted most of his critics. A very good view of politics in South Carolina. Mr. Thurmond won my grudging respect in this book by taking care of his constituents...without regards to race or religion. Well documented facts by the writers!
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robin Orlowski on December 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Myself and other progressive young southerners who were previously appalled by his well-known Segregationist tactics could not have even imagined Strom Thurmond himself fathering an interracial child, only to gleefully keep his family and other in racial subordination supposedly for their and/or country's own good.
Sure, I was previously aware of slave-owner-slave stories which basically told the same tale in eighteenth century language, but I did not believe somebody intentionally kept their family in segregation today. There has been much discussion about conscience, character, and morals within the public sector and what quantities of these ingredients are required of 'good' public servants versus those that simply keep getting re-elected for tradition sakes---but Thurmond's life (long overdue for an examination) lacks all three components.
After former South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond's death, a woman Essie Mae Washington came forward with revelation that she was Thurmond's half-daughter. Her mother was a teenage African American worker in the Thurmond home, and he was a wealthy young adult whose activities were apparently concealed for fear of dominant society retaliation. If word of Thurmond's 'extracurricular' activities had leaked out while he was living, (especially in the segregation era) it would have been the end of his political career.
I don't doubt that the incident (and others) in question happened, or Strom's legendary libido (ironically while courting voters from 'family values' crowd who made a national crisis out of President William Jefferson Clinton's consensual affair with a twenty something adult woman).
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By Jack Keller on March 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Used but high quality and wll cared for book!
I would buy fron this company in a second!
i DID NOT EXSPECT SUCH QUALITY
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