Rayburn: A Biography

D. B. Hardeman, Author, Donald C. Bacon, With Texas Monthly Press $21.95 (554p) ISBN 978-0-932012-03-6
Sam Rayburn made available his congressional papers, personal correspondence and taped conversation with the late Hardeman to Bacon (Congress and You, who completed this biography. The book presents an intimate look at a man who had the longest law-making career in American history, having served in the House of Representatives for 49 years at the time of his death in 1961. As Speaker of the House, ""Mr. Sam'' epitomized honesty and integrity in public service. Referred to here as ``arguably the most underrated public official in twentieth-century politics,'' he is revealed as a major architect of New Deal legislation, adviser to presidents from Wilson to Kennedy, and a man whose ``outrageously optimistic dreams came true.'' Rayburn's legislative battles are described in detail, from his confrontation with public-utility holding companies in the '30s to his last major victory, a showdown with conservatives over control of the House Committee on Rules. Also covered are Truman's reliance on the Speaker's counsel and the father-son relationship between Rayburn and his protege, Lyndon Johnson. An inspiring portrait of a politician who may have been the last of his kind. Photos. (April)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1987
Release date: 03/01/1987
Paperback - 554 pages - 978-0-8191-7294-5
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