They Love a Man in the Country: Saints and Sinners in the South

Billy Bowles, Author, Remer Tyson, With
Billy Bowles, Author, Remer Tyson, With Peachtree Publishers $18.95 (311p) ISBN 978-0-934601-67-2
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Stitching together interviews and reminiscences of governors, legislators and local bigwigs, Detroit Free Press reporters Bowles and Tyson provide a close-up, anecdotal look at string-pulling, horse-trading politics in the South, from the populist '30s to the civil rights era. Their subjects include hard-drinking, cunning ``Big Jim'' Folsom, twice governor of Alabama, who attempted to forge a loose coalition of poor whites and blacks; his successor, ``rambunctious soul'' George Wallace with his racist politics; an ``unholy trinity'' of country lawyers who dominated Tennessee's legislature in the 1950s; and ``wool hat boy'' Marvin Griffin who, as Georgia's governor, is said to have hand-picked members of his state's legislature. The authors, both native Georgians, spice their narrative with colorful tales of bootleggers, mule traders, lobbyists and liars. They also give credit to ``courageous, hell-raising, God-fearing'' newspapermen who poked around the South from the 1940s onward and opened up the issue of race relations. This is a book of strictly regional interest. Photos. (May)
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