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The Resource Speaker Jim Wright : power, scandal, and the birth of modern politics, J. Brooks Flippen

Speaker Jim Wright : power, scandal, and the birth of modern politics, J. Brooks Flippen

Label
Speaker Jim Wright : power, scandal, and the birth of modern politics
Title
Speaker Jim Wright
Title remainder
power, scandal, and the birth of modern politics
Statement of responsibility
J. Brooks Flippen
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Jim Wright made his mark on virtually every major public policy issue in the late 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 he was the first American politician to speak live on Soviet television. a Democrat representing Texas's twelfth district (Forth Worth), Wright served in the US House of Representatives from the Eisenhower administration to the presidency of George H.W. Bush, including twelve years (1977-1989) as majority leader and Speaker. 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
Member of
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Jim Wright (1922–2015) served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1954 to 1989 and was Speaker of the House for his final two years until charges of lobbying improprieties and an explosion of cutthroat politics forced him to resign. Here, Flippen (history, Southeastern Oklahoma State Univ.; Nixon and the Environment) offers an exhaustive biography that reveals Wright as a Texas go-getter in the mold of mentor President Lyndon B. Johnson. According to the author, Wright enjoyed a long, productive legislative career that well served his Fort Worth constituency, while he mostly maintained bipartisan respect of Congress and the presidents with whom he served. The author describes Wright's life, from his small-town childhood to his distinguished World War II service as a bombardier in the central Pacific and his political career as a Democrat and productive postcongressional life. He concludes that Wright's moderate stance bridged the Democratic Party's conservative and liberal wings while reflecting the realities of Texas politics post-World War II. VERDICT The detailed analyses of Wright's legislative actions will likely make this the authoritative account of his political life, which will find a receptive audience primarily among political scholars and historians. --Karl Helicher (Reviewed 04/01/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 6, p80)
  • /* Starred Review */ A revealing biography of a complex, contradictory political leader. For more than three decades, James Claude Wright Jr. (1922-2015) represented Fort Worth, Texas, in Congress, including stints as majority leader and, finally, in the position he coveted: speaker of the House. A liberal Democrat from a conservative district, he served under eight presidents, earning a reputation as an astute pragmatist "able to bridge divides." Flippen (History/Southeastern Oklahoma State Univ.; Jimmy Carter, the Politics of Family, and the Rise of the Religious Right, 2011, etc.) draws on Wright's memoirs, diaries, and papers; copious library and newspaper archives; and interviews (including conversations with Wright) to offer a definitive, richly detailed biography. Besides creating an indelible portrait of Wright, the author offers a vivid, eye-opening history of profound change in American politics since the 1950s, when Wright was elected to Congress: "consensus politics giving way to harsher partisan discord, and compromise turning into personal invective." By the time Wright was forced to resign in 1989, "partisanship and scandal, driven in part by more efficient gerrymandering and the proliferation of new media, now defined government." No leader is without enemies—and Wright, Flippen reveals, made some poor personal choices—but the successful campaign to oust him reflected a pervasive, malignant "devolution of political civility" incited by a vicious Newt Gingrich. In addition, his style of leadership was undermining his power, with many Democrats resenting "his forceful hand" and his tendency to dictate rather than consult. Wright's liberal views were circumscribed by his conservative roots: progressive on many issues—the environment, education, and civil rights—he nevertheless supported the Vietnam War; opposed abortion and forced school integration; and upheld citizens' right to bear arms. Flippen examines his relationships with vastly different presidents, most of whom—Ronald Reagan excepted—he found ways to support. He even found common ground with Richard Nixon, refusing for too long to believe the "litany of dirty tricks and corruption" accusations that led to the president's resignation. An engrossing history that sheds light on our own fractious times. (Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2018)
Biography type
individual biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10657436
Cataloging source
TxU/DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1959-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Flippen, J. Brooks
Dewey number
  • 328.73/092
  • B
Government publication
government publication of a state province territory dependency etc
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • plates
Index
index present
LC call number
E840.8.W75
LC item number
F55 2018
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Jess and Betty Jo Hay Series
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Wright, Jim
  • United States
  • United States
  • Wright, Jim
  • United States
  • Legislators
  • Legislators
  • Orators
  • United States
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
power, scandal, and the birth of modern politics
Label
Speaker Jim Wright : power, scandal, and the birth of modern politics, J. Brooks Flippen
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages [401]-511) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction. The long shadow of scandal : the forgotten legacy -- Part I. The rise of a politician. The foundations for success : family and childhood (1922-1939) -- The lessons of life : college and war (1939-1944) -- Ambition and frustration : state legislature (1944-1948) -- Preparation and payoff : businessman, mayor, and election to Congress (1948-1954) -- Part II. Congress in an age of tradition. Learning the ropes : the new congressman (1954-1956) -- Building a record : the Eisenhower years (1956-1960) -- Challenges : the Kennedy years (1960-1963) -- Access to power : Johnson takes control (1963-1965) -- The rough path forward : years of change (1965-1968) -- Part III. Leadership in an age of dynamism. Old school : a moderate in the Nixon years (1968-1972) -- Bombshell : the Watergate crisis (1972-1974) -- The ripples of Watergate : a new congress and new opportunity (1972-1976) -- The new majority leader : critical decisions in an age of partisanship (1976-1978) -- The struggle for unity : the Carter years (1978-1980) -- Part IV. Victory and defeat in the age of Reagan. A challenge like none before : Reagan (1980-1982) -- Rallying the opposition : friends and enemies (1982-1986) -- On the mountaintop : Speaker of the House (1986-1989) -- In the valley : resignation and its aftermath (1987-2015) -- Epilogue. The politics of scandal and the judgment of history
Control code
1948963
Dimensions
24 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
vi, 527 pages, 18 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9781477315149
Lccn
2017037707
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781477315149
  • (OCoLC)1002419108
Label
Speaker Jim Wright : power, scandal, and the birth of modern politics, J. Brooks Flippen
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages [401]-511) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction. The long shadow of scandal : the forgotten legacy -- Part I. The rise of a politician. The foundations for success : family and childhood (1922-1939) -- The lessons of life : college and war (1939-1944) -- Ambition and frustration : state legislature (1944-1948) -- Preparation and payoff : businessman, mayor, and election to Congress (1948-1954) -- Part II. Congress in an age of tradition. Learning the ropes : the new congressman (1954-1956) -- Building a record : the Eisenhower years (1956-1960) -- Challenges : the Kennedy years (1960-1963) -- Access to power : Johnson takes control (1963-1965) -- The rough path forward : years of change (1965-1968) -- Part III. Leadership in an age of dynamism. Old school : a moderate in the Nixon years (1968-1972) -- Bombshell : the Watergate crisis (1972-1974) -- The ripples of Watergate : a new congress and new opportunity (1972-1976) -- The new majority leader : critical decisions in an age of partisanship (1976-1978) -- The struggle for unity : the Carter years (1978-1980) -- Part IV. Victory and defeat in the age of Reagan. A challenge like none before : Reagan (1980-1982) -- Rallying the opposition : friends and enemies (1982-1986) -- On the mountaintop : Speaker of the House (1986-1989) -- In the valley : resignation and its aftermath (1987-2015) -- Epilogue. The politics of scandal and the judgment of history
Control code
1948963
Dimensions
24 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
vi, 527 pages, 18 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9781477315149
Lccn
2017037707
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781477315149
  • (OCoLC)1002419108

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