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When Hell Froze over: The Untold Story of Doug Wilder : A Black Politician's Rise to Power in the South Hardcover – February, 1989

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 381 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Pub; First Edition edition (February 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878336702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878336708
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,514,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By George on March 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Doug Wilder is still the only African-American to ever be elected governor of a state. And he did so in a conservative southern state as a Democrat. The foundation for that historic governors race was put in place in the mid 1980s when Doug Wilder ran an upstart, grassroots campaign that shocked the state.

This book documents that lieutenant governor's race and does it well.. it can be enjoyed by political junkies and lovers of biographies equally. in fact it is simply a good story that is a good read.

There probably needs to be a folllow up book now that Governor Wilder held office for four years, ran a brief presidental race and in his 70s decided to be the first full-time Mayor of crime ridden Richmond, Virginia.

This book tells an important story about an interesting campaign.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those who wish to preserve a part of history, this book should be a part of their library.


"WHEN HELL FROZE OVER" is a chronicle of the events and challenges leading up to the HISTORICAL VICTORY in 1985 when Douglas Wilder was elected Lieutenant Governor of the State of Virginia. He is the first African American to win a state-wide election in Virginia, and the first black man to be elected to a state-wide executive office in the south since the reconstruction period. He went on to become the Governor of Virginia and THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN GOVERNOR IN THE UNITED STATES.

For those who want to accurately preserve political history of the United States, continued recognition should be given to the men and women who broke through those color barriers and laid the pavement over which other men and women of color have since walked. Lawrence Douglas Wilder holds such a place in history because he was a major "first". Even before President Barack Obama could be the first Black President, someone had to lay those foundation stones. Doug Wilder didn't just lay paving stones... he actually "broke the ground" and what was so phenomenal is that he achieved this in the traditional and conservative southern state of Virginia.

Although racial attitudes have drastically changed toward people of color holding governing offices in this country, the title of this book references the attitudes and comments of that time... In 1985 some voices in the state of Virginia still echoed the belief that Virginia would have a black governor "when hell freezes over".
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