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Wallace: The Classic Portrait of Alabama Governor George Wallace Paperback – June 3, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st Random House, Inc. paperback ed edition (June 3, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067977128X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679771289
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,427,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

George Wallace is the most important failed American presidential candidate of the 20th century. He rose to national prominence during the first of his four official terms as governor of Alabama (there was also the term served by his first wife, Lurleen, when state law prohibited him from a third consecutive run at the office) by fulfilling a promise made to a group of state senators: "I'm going to make race the basis of politics in this state, and I'm going to make it the basis of politics in this country." His commitment to the racial segregation he believed the people of Alabama wanted, when taken to the national level, led to the articulation of a conservative working-class voter demographic that was eventually harnessed by Ronald Reagan in the 1980 elections and without which the candidacies of Ross Perot and Patrick Buchanan would seem much less plausible.

Marshall Frady's Wallace is more than a political biography; it is a portrait in words. It crackles with the liveliness of Wallace on the Alabama campaign trail, capturing the feel of an era in which Southern politicians could still publicly refer to black Americans with a certain word without the slightest trace of self-consciousness. There are some remarkable passages within, including a conversation in which Governor Wallace tries to put Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy on the spot as to the potential deployment of federal troops to enforce the integration of the University of Alabama. Readers will also learn that, for all his racial demagoguery--of which he would repent late in life--Wallace was in many ways a rather liberal statesman, launching massive social programs, and in every way a canny politician despite appearances. --Ron Hogan


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Customer Reviews

Frady does a great job describing the complexities of George Wallace.
Ken Kessler
The story just pulls you in and Frady's writing is beautifully descriptive - reminds me of Walker Percy at his best.
Carl Voelker
Clearly one of the very best political biographies I have ever read - insightful, engaging and emotional.
Hoosierread

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
Even if you don't agree with the political message or the idiological slant of this character, you will be extremely glad that you read this character depiction. This takes you through each rise and fall along with his influence on many well-known Alabama political figures.
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This is one of the best written books I have ever read. Marshall Frady wrote using a better version of William Faulkner's "stream of consciousness" method than Faulkner himself!! But Marshall applied it to non-fiction writing. This is an incredibly up-close portrait of George Wallace, in my opinion the quintessential, greatest American politician that ever lived (whether you liked him or hated him, he was a Politician's Politician!). I found out about this book from reading a Jack W. Germond book which referenced Frady's work on Wallace. If you liked "The Death of A President" by William Manchester, which was a very detailed version of the Kennedy Assassination, then you will love Frady's style!! A must for political junkies like me (it's a hobby!).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Frady does a great job describing the complexities of George Wallace. He was a very complex man caught up in the racial hatred of the 60s. I remember the fascination my mother and father had for him in Louisiana. Their world was changing and Wallace spoke a word that appealed to the fear. His demagoguery created quite a stir, and thankfully he sought forgiveness before his political life was over. Frady does a good job of working through this complexity. i wish he explore more of Wallace's poor treatment of Lurleen's health condition, but he may not have had those facts.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Tonucci on October 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Has some wonderful passages, especially on Wallace's youth. Frady's biography of Billy Graham is also top-notch. He is a superb prose stylist who can evoke a setting and an age masterfully.
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This book is a little masterpiece. The story just pulls you in and Frady's writing is beautifully descriptive - reminds me of Walker Percy at his best.
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