Speaker Jim Wright
The rise and fall of a Texas Democrat: &“A definitive, richly detailed biography [and] an engrossing history that sheds light on our own fractious times.&” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review) A former Golden Gloves boxer and WWII bombardier, Jim Wright entered Congress to fight a different kind of battle, making his mark on virtually every major policy issue of the later twentieth century: energy, education, taxes, transportation, environmental protection, civil rights, criminal justice, and foreign relations among them. He played a significant role in peace initiatives in Central America and in the Camp David Accords, and was the first American politician to speak live on Soviet television. A Democrat representing Texas&’s twelfth district (Fort Worth), he served in the US House of Representatives from the Eisenhower administration to the presidency of George H.W. Bush, including twelve years as majority leader and speaker—and his long congressional ascension and sudden fall in a highly partisan ethics scandal spearheaded by Newt Gingrich mirrored the evolution of Congress as an institution. Speaker Jim Wright traces the congressman&’s long life and career in a highly readable narrative grounded in extensive interviews with Wright and access to his personal diaries. A skilled connector who bridged the conservative and liberal wings of the Democratic Party while forging alliances with Republicans to pass legislation, Wright ultimately fell victim to a new era of political infighting, as well as to his own hubris and mistakes. J. Brooks Flippen shows how Wright&’s career shaped the political culture of Congress, from its internal rules and power structure to its growing partisanship, even as those new dynamics eventually contributed to his political demise. To understand Jim Wright in all his complexity is to understand the story of modern American politics.
- 2018 the University of Texas Press
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- University of Texas Press
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- Biographies and Memoirs, History, Nonfiction, Politics and Government,
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- This is a copyrighted book.
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