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From a Standing Start: My Tennessee Political Odyssey Hardcover – October, 2007
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From the Inside Flap
In 1970 Winfield Dunn set out to change the way politics were played in Tennessee. A virtual political unknown, he touted the then radical idea of a strong two-party state and a united Tennessee.
From a Standing Start answers the question "How in the world did a dentist from Memphis ever get to be the governor of our state?" In a time when "Republican" was a dirty word, Winfield Dunn managed to gain support in one of the first closely watched, hard-fought, two-party gubernatorial races in Tennessee. Beating out John Jay Hooker, Dunn became the first Republican governor in fifty years. The complex conditions that enabled a dentist from Memphis to rise to the office of governor are herein revealed.
The years of Dunn's governorship, 1971-1975, were a time of great change and advancement, and the governor wasted no time making sure Tennessee followed the nation in creation of public parks, publicly funded kindergarten, and properly maintained safe highways. Leaving partisanship behind, the governor worked to make life better for all Tennesseans, not just those of his party or his geographic region.
The memories of former Governor Dunn provide a glimpse into the world of politics and celebrity. His memoir offers a privileged view of the campaign trail and the office of the state's executive power.
From the Back Cover
Any student of politics and history will be intrigued with Governor Dunn's account of his entry and remarkable success in the political arena of Tennessee. His straightforward yet entertaining style, including heartwarming details of his personal life, makes his book read more like a novel than a dry recounting of historical events. The tale of his rapid rise from dentist to governor and his role in creating a two-party system in Tennessee is almost miraculous in light of his youth and political experience. The sincerity, warmth, and charm that propelled him to the Governor's Mansion fills his writing. Winfield Dunn is one of those rare statesmen who is a great communicator; he has succeeded in transferring this talent to the written word.
--Frank F. Drowota III
Chief Justice, retired
Tennessee State Supreme Court
Governor Winfield Dunn's thoughtful and inspirational book, From a Standing Start: My Tennessee Political Odyssey, richly deserves to be read. This book and its author demonstrate what a passion for effective government, a devotion to all citizens, honesty, hard work, dignity, faith, utilization of talent, and high aspirations for Tennessee can accomplish. Governor Dunn sets forth clearly how commitment, vision, friends, a loving family, sound advice, and high standards lead to a rewarding career in a profession, in political office, and in business.
I benefited greatly from relationships with Dr. Winfield Dunn as Governor of Tennessee, Chairman of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees, a distinguished alumnus of the University of Tennessee, mentor, and friend.
The University of Tennessee
Students of Southern politics have long waited for Winfield Dunn to tell the story of the Republican revival in Tennessee. Governor Dunn's memoir of his journey from Memphis dentist to Tennessee's first Republican Governor in half a century captures his humor, charm, and gift for story telling. It should be required reading, not only for political junkies like me, but anyone who wants to read a lively and insightful modern history of our state.
--Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, State of Tennesssee