Earl K. Long: The Saga of Uncle Earl and Louisiana Politics

Michael L. Kurtz, Author, Morgan D. Peoples, With
Michael L. Kurtz, Author, Morgan D. Peoples, With Louisiana State University Press $24.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1577-0
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
Earl was a key figure in his brother ``Kingfish'' Huey Long's rise to power and, after Huey's assassination, launched a notable career of his own, serving as lieutenant governor and three times as governor of Louisiana; he was elected to Congress shortly before his death in 1960. A populist, he instituted hot lunches for schoolchildren and old-age pensions and won generous raises for teachers in his state; he also registered thousands of black voters at a time of Dixiecrat racist agitation. But as Kurtz, history professor at Southeastern Louisiana University, and Peoples, former history professor at Louisiana Tech, show in this balanced and highly readable biography, he continued the spoils system and maintained strong ties to organized crime. The authors conclude, nevertheless, that the charismatic Long was remarkably effective for his time and place. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.)
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