Richard B Russell, Jr., Represented Georgia In The United States Senate From 1933 To 1971, A Period Of Sweeping Social Change Russell 1879 1971 Was Regarded By His Fellow Senators As The Quintessential Member Of The Senate S Establishment, And They Dubbed Him A Senator S Senator And The Georgia Giant So Great Was His Popularity In Congress That Lyndon B Johnson Once Said, If The Membership Of The Senate Were To Cast A Secret Vote On The Man They Believed Best Qualifies To Be President Of The United States, They Would Choose Richard Russell Gilbert Fite S Masterful Biography Begins With Russell S Upbringing In An Elite Georgia Family The Highly Stratified And Class Conscious Society Of His Early Years Would Later Influence Russell S Legislative Agenda In 1920, Russell Was Elected To The Georgia General Assembly, And In 1931 He Became Governor Of Georgia He Held That Office Until 1933, When He Began His Thirty Eight Years Of Service In The U.S Senate.During Russell S Long Senatorial Career, He Was Deeply Involved In Many Of The Most Important Episodes Of Our National Life The New Deal, World War II, The MacArthur Investigation, The Foreign Aid Debate, And The Warren Commission Inquiry His Greatest Contribution, According To Fite, Was His Fierce Determination To Maintain A Strong National Defense During The Cold War In His Sixteen Years As Chairman Of The Armed Services Committee, He Emerged As The Acknowledged Leader In Congress On Defense Matters A Career Long Member Of The Senate Appropriations Committee, Russell Also Became One Of The Nation S Strongest Advocates Of Farm Price Supports Under His Sponsorship, The Senate Enacted Legislation Establishing The School Lunch Program And Distribution Of Food To The Needy.But Russell Never Abandoned His Dedication To The South S Traditional Values, And He Became The Leader Of The Southern Bloc That Staunchly Fought To Defeat Civil Rights Legislation And Maintain The Structures Of Segregation Russell S Unwillingness To Compromise On Civil Rights, Says Fite, Meant That His Career Was Ultimately One Of Regional Rather Than National Leadership. It was said by many of his colleagues that if Richard B Russell, Jr had not come from a Dixie stateand was not leader of the southern bloc opposed to integration he might very well have been President of the United States As it was he received a lot of votes for the job at the Democratic conventions of1948 and 1952.Russell was the heir to a fine southern family, the leading one from Winder, Georgia He had a quick rise from the State Legislature to the Governorship of Georgia in 1930 where as a fellow governor he made the acquaintance of Franklin D Roosevelt who was Governor of New York As weknow Roosevelt patronized the resort at Warm Springs, Georgia for his health and recovery from hisinfantile paralysis Through the death of the incumbent Senator William Harris in 1932, Russell while still Governor wona special election for the job and was there to greet FDR when he became president He supportedthe New Deal generally until the Supreme Court packing plan.A rising tide for civil rights and the threat of a march on Washington led FDR to appoint a FairEmployment Practices Commission which led to Russell s break with the administration Afterthat his mission in the Senate as he saw it was to shovel against the tide for civil rights.Russell was the image they wanted to convey for
Great read.A big fan of books on mid century Southern political leaders and this is a much needed book on a key person of the century.
- 582 pages
- Richard B. Russell, Jr, Senator from Georgia
- Gilbert C. Fite
- 05 August 2017 Gilbert C. Fite