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Henry M. Jackson : a life in politics /
Robert G. Kaufman.
Seattle : University of Washington Press, c2000.
x, 548 p., [24] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
0295979623 (alk. paper)
More Details
Seattle : University of Washington Press, c2000.
0295979623 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Robert G. Kaufman is associate professor of political science at the University of Vermont.
First Chapter

Chapter One

The Everett Years, 1912-1940

Henry Martin Jackson, the youngest of five children, was born May 31, 1912, in the back bedroom of his family's home at 3602 Oakes Street in Everett, Washington. He always took great pride in the Norwegian heritage on both sides of his family. His father, born Peter Gresseth on an island near the village of Aure, in western Norway, grew up on a farm. Before leaving Norway for the United States in 1885, he anglicized his family name to Jackson: a combination of his Uncle Jack's name and the traditional Scandinavian suffix. The course of his journey to Everett reflected the experiences of thousands of Scandinavians who migrated to the Pacific Northwest. After arriving in Minnesota, Peter Jackson moved to Montana, where he worked briefly before continuing west to Washington in 1888, a year before it achieved statehood.

    Henry Jackson's mother, born Marine Anderson in Alvenes, a remote Norwegian village north of the Arctic Circle, was the youngest of twelve children. She also grew up on a farm where life was rigorous. The devoutly religious Andersons weekly traveled seventeen miles each way to get to Roerstad Lutheran Church, the one where Marine was confirmed. The only way to get there was by rowing across a fjord exposed to the North Sea, then walking several miles. In summer, they set out early on Sunday morning to reach church on time; in winter, they had to start on Saturday because the crossing was even rougher and more dangerous, with just four or five hours of daylight in which to make it. Marine came to the United States in 1891 to join her oldest brother, Konrad, who had settled in Gig Harbor, Washington. In 1893, she moved to Everett, where she became a charter member of the local Lutheran church, the first meeting place of many of the early immigrants from Norway, among them Peter Jackson. In 1897, Marine and Peter married in that church.

    During the early years of their marriage, the Jacksons moved back to Montana in search of work for Peter. Their stay, however, was unhappy and brief. Toiling at a hot, strenuous, and dreary job in the Anaconda smelter, Peter, characteristically reticent and stoic, objected volubly to "the damn company town's" exploitation of him and the many poor, unskilled Scandinavians employed in similar circumstances. He and Marine thus returned to Everett, which remained their home for the rest of their lives.

    Founded in 1888 on a peninsula thirty miles north of Seattle, Everett has never lived up to the lofty expectations of its first generation of civic leaders. They had nicknamed this port town the "City of Smokestacks," anticipating that the arrival of the railroads and the promise of huge profits from mining gold, silver, and lead from the hills east of town would transform it into the major industrial center of the Pacific Northwest. Although the railroads came to Everett, they also came to Seattle, which emerged instead as the major economic and population center of the region. Nor did mining pan out. By the time Henry Jackson was born, Everett had truly become the city of smokestacks: a mill town with a population of roughly thirty thousand, dependent on lumber and shingle mills that noisily spewed smoke and cinders over the entire metropolitan area. When the Everett Pulp and Paper Company opened its plant early in Henry's boyhood, the sulfate process added a noxious odor to the town's mill-induced haze.

    The Everett of Jackson's youth had a simple social structure: a tiny elite of eastern-born lumber barons, almost no middle class, and a vast working class, many of whom were Scandinavian immigrants like Peter and Marine. The town had its share of labor unrest and radicalism, especially rife in the Pacific Northwest during those years. The worst episode, known as the Everett Massacre, occurred in 1916, when Jackson was just four years old and too young to remember. Local vigilantes and other leaders of the Everett establishment, led by an overly aggressive Sheriff Donald McRae, confronted a force of 250 Industrial Workers of the World protesters (Wobblies) as they disembarked from the ship Verona coming from Seattle. A source never identified fired a single shot, which unleashed a panic. The ensuing gunfire killed two vigilantes and five Wobblies and wounded fifty others, including the sheriff, who was shot in the leg. Bitter memories of this episode lingered for years.

    Everett had a well-deserved reputation as a rough and tumble town, full of bars, gambling, and houses of prostitution for the loggers and seamen who came there periodically for recreation. Yet neither labor radicalism nor licentiousness had any place in the Jackson home. Residents of Everett admired the Jacksons for their prudence and probity. Peter played no part in any of the labor violence that culminated in the Everett Massacre. Tall, lean, and physically powerful, he worked first as a policeman, then as a laborer in the Sumner Iron Works, manufacturing logging equipment, then for several more years as a laborer working with concrete. Eventually, he established his own business as a small independent contractor, pouring concrete basements and foundations. When Everett later became a union town, he became a union man. The members of the Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 190 elected him as their treasurer for twenty-six consecutive years. Peter Jackson did not belong to the Democratic Party, which in Washington State and in Everett until the 1930s was a minority party whose leadership was largely dominated by Irish Catholics. Like most non-Catholics in Snohomish County, Peter and Marine Jackson voted Republican before the Great Depression. People knew Pete, the name his friends called him, as a quiet, hardworking, and thoughtful man who laid the finest basement in town.

    Arthur Jackson, ten years older than his brother Henry, resembled his father physically and worked with him. Contemporaries remember him as intelligent and a fine athlete. "No one threw the ball as well," according to Jack Dootson, a neighborhood friend of both Jackson boys. Arthur could not finish high school because he had to help support his family, as the oldest siblings of many immigrant families did. Severe arthritis incapacitated him in his thirties. Thereafter he lived a painful, sad life; he was frequently in hospitals for operations or therapy, and during one such stay his brief marriage ended. For a long time, he remained estranged from his entire family. What caused the estrangement remains unclear. Some locals speculate that Arthur may have resented Henry's success and the advantages Henry had that were denied to him. Whatever the cause, the records indicate that Henry Jackson always behaved honorably toward his older brother. During the 1940s, he paid for all of Arthur's expenses at the Mayo Clinic, including surgery to have both hips replaced with artificial ones. Correspondence between them also reveals Henry's generosity and empathy for his older brother's suffering. Despite his legendary thrift, Henry continually implored Arthur to ask for and accept all the spending money he needed. Arthur's twenty-year career as a bookkeeper for Pacific Foundry and Light ended when he suffered a series of debilitating strokes during the 1960s. He languished for the rest of his life in nursing homes, first in Renton and then in north Seattle. During the mid-1970s, with Arthur so incapacitated that he could barely speak, the Jackson brothers reconciled. Henry paid for all of Arthur's care until his death in 1979.

    Henry's mother and his sister Gertrude, who jointly reigned supreme in the Jackson matriarchy, exerted the most powerful influence on his development. Physically, he resembled his mother more than his father: shorter, broader, stockier, with a head that seemed slightly oversized for his body. Friends recall Mrs. Jackson as a proud and gentle woman, determined to promote her children, particularly Henry, her favorite, whom she had identified early as the most gifted member of the family with the greatest potential for worldly success. By the time she gave birth to Henry, she was forty-three years old and the financial situation of the family had improved considerably. Although they lived modestly and never became wealthy, the Jacksons were somewhat better off than most families in their circle. The house at 3602 Oakes was not outstanding, but was respectable and substantial by the standards of the town's working class. The downstairs had three large rooms: a bedroom for the parents; a living room, with ample pieces of comfortable, overstuffed furniture; and a huge, well-stocked kitchen. Upstairs were three large bedrooms for Henry and his sisters, Gertrude and Marie. Over the garage, there was also an apartment that the Jacksons rented out. So the family had the resources for Marine to indulge Henry more than she had her other children.

    The loss of a third daughter, Agnes, to infantile paralysis when she was fourteen and Henry barely three, only magnified Marine's propensity to shower him with attention and affection. By all accounts she was a marvelous cook and took special delight in lavishing Henry with quantities of delicious but fattening delicacies. The sweet tooth his mother cultivated exacerbated his genetic predisposition, inherited from her, to put on weight, a problem he struggled with all his life with varying degrees of success.

    Marine and Peter Jackson encouraged Henry to assimilate as quickly and completely as possible. Like other Scandinavians of their generation, the Jacksons came to the United States to become Americans. They took great pride in their Norwegian heritage, but regarded assimilation as complementing that sentiment. The Jacksons insisted on speaking English around the children, both inside and outside the home. Marine remained an active member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church, where the towering Reverend Karl Norgaard, known for his severity, and keen intellect, conducted his services in both English and Norwegian. Although Henry was baptized and started Sunday School in that church, Marine supported his decision to join the more socially prominent Presbyterian church closer to home, where most of his neighborhood friends attended. He belonged to that Presbyterian church until he died.

    Marine also insisted that her children judge people as individuals rather than imputing negative group characteristics to them, an ethic that Henry practiced and preached faithfully with the sole but deplorable exception of his attitude toward Japanese Americans during the Second World War. His mother particularly abhorred anti-Semitism in any form, perhaps the first clue to understanding Jackson's fervent devotion to Israel and Jewish causes generally. Henry recalled his normally placid mother displaying uncharacteristic anger toward neighborhood children who yelled "Kike" at a Jewish junkman. "My mother was a Christian who believed in a strong Judaism," Henry observed. "She taught me to respect the Jews, help the Jews! It was a lesson I never forgot."

    Henry's sister Gertrude, fourteen years his senior, had an equally profound effect on his character and career. Tall like her father, with a slightly oversized head like her mother, Gertrude taught for thirty-nine years at the Garfield Elementary School, whose students came mostly from poorer, working-class homes. Blunt, strict, determined, and outspoken, not reluctant to offer her neighbors advice about everything from politics to the behavior of their children. Gert also had a reputation for being a splendid teacher, the best educator in Everett. She inspired large numbers of young people, including Henry, to whom she was devoted. Without boasting or ostentatious sentimentality, she had a way of getting good things done, often providing clothing or giving money to children acutely in need.

    Gert was the one, struck by her brother's aptitude for avoiding household chores, who nicknamed him Scoop, after a comic strip character adept at persuading others to do his jobs for him. She also was the person who advised him from his childhood through much of his career in the Senate. From his first campaign for office, she was his most dedicated supporter, his eyes and ears in Everett, someone on whom he often called for information about the local political scene. She helped, too, to pay for his college and law school education. Her descriptions of the plight of her most impoverished students kindled in Henry an empathy for the less fortunate that became a trademark of his political philosophy. She never married. She lived at the Oakes Street house until she died in February 1969, after suffering several months with pancreatic cancer. Henry reciprocatecl Gert's devotion. For his entire Senate career, he donated all of his honoraria to provide scholarships for Everett children, through an anonymous fund until Gert's death and to a scholarship fund in her name thereafter.

    Marie Jackson, five years older than Henry, was the most socially inclined and physically attractive member of the family. Like Gert, she never married or moved away from the Oakes Street house. She spent most of her life working at home, cooking and caring for her mother until Mrs. Jackson died in 1957. Sadly, she developed a dependency on alcohol that she never fully overcame. In December 1969, just months after Gert's death, Marie died at home in a fire that she apparently ignited when she fell asleep addressing Christmas cards.


Henry Jackson's friends and acquaintances in Everett remember him as a model youth: "a serious and hardworking kid, a super achiever.... Teachers liked him.... He was on time, neat, clean, prepared, but in a way that did not alienate his classmates." "He was a teacher's pet but without the liabilities." There were, of course, the occasional bouts of mischief typical of young boys. When he was five or six, according to boyhood friend Jack Dootson, they set fire to an open field in their neighborhood, full of dry grass, hoping that the fire trucks would come. They got more than they reckoned on: "The fire grew rather fast toward the house down the street.... Scoop and I ran down an alley around the block. When I got home, my mother was waiting for me and took me down to the Jackson house. Mrs. Jackson looked for Scoop, found him under the bed, and hauled him out." Helen Sievers, a classmate of Scoop's at the Longfellow Elementary School, remembered him putting pennies on the trolley car tracks on Broadway. "We all did it," she said. She added, however, that "that was probably the most illegal thing Scoop did in his life. He was as square as they come." Strong but a poor athlete with terrible hand-eye coordination, Henry avoided sports and concentrated on other activities. He was a good student in grammar school, a particularly good speller. The most memorable episode from his Longfellow school days occurred one day in third grade when Mrs. Dootson, his third-grade teacher, asked her students what they wanted to be. Henry answered, "President of the Untied States," provoking much ribbing from his family and classmates.

    Although usually successful in escaping the grueling physical labor of helping his father pour cement, Henry worked hard nonetheless, which he considered the norm for young people of the time. "Working was a way of life, and the work ethic was very important," recalled Jackson to his daughter Anna Marie. "All youngsters had jobs of one kind or another. Some worked in groceries and others in garages." What distinguished Henry from his peers was his diligence and thrift. He managed to save most of what he earned, a habit he retained throughout his life. He got his first job at age nine selling the Saturday Evening Post . He had a newspaper route at age ten delivering the Everett Daily Herald , the course of which made him aware of the rough, seedy bars and houses of ill repute that made up the dark side of life in Everett. Later, he worked at the newspaper office on weekends, helping to put out a Sunday edition. In high school, he delivered the Sunday edition in an old Model T Ford he purchased because the load was too big to carry on his bicycle. He also worked in the sawmills during some summers and the fish canneries during others.

    Henry's performance as a newspaper boy won him a national award for carrying 74,880 newspapers without a single complaint, a story that made the front page of the Everett Herald of July 2, 1927. In attaining this feat, the young Jackson displayed a shrewdness essential for any successful politician: "I had a little system I used.... We would give the customer a receipt when they paid for the paper, I had on the receipt: don't call me at the Everett office. Call me at home if you have a complaint. So I managed to develop and build a good organization." Even after he became a senator, he reminisced with evident pride about how he always managed to toss the newspaper from his bicycle right to the front door of his customers.

    Henry really began to distinguish himself in junior high and high school. He excelled as a member of the debate team, with the help and encouragement of Ellen Repp, his junior high school debate coach and teacher. Miss Repp explained that he "was a very good debater because he was extremely thorough and was sure that he had his facts before he would say anything." Miss Repp also stimulated her students' interest in politics: "To make them aware of the world at large and their own community, I used to have them impersonate foreign newscasters. So you were practically a citizen of the world. It gave them an understanding that the world was much larger than just Everett." Studious, logical, and deliberate, he won almost all his debates in high school. Fred Moore, a high school friend, recounted the circumstances of one of his rare losses, a debate with him over the Smoot-Hawley tariff act. Henry defended it, suggesting that his political inclinations leaned then to the Republican side: "He worked hard on that.... He could have filled a volume.... He was heart-crushed when he got a B. His big mistake was not knowing that Isabel Carlyle was a Democrat."

    Besides debating, Jackson's main extracurricular activities included writing articles for the newspapers, working on the yearbook staff, and participating actively in De Molay, a Masonic organization very popular among Everett males of his generation. Academically, he was smart, not brilliant, a good student, not an excellent one, who liked and did best in history, a subject for which he retained a lifelong passion. In his relations with others, he was cautious and morally upright. Not every adolescent or adult male would have displayed the forbearance that he did in circumstances such as those that Dr. Edwin Chase, Jackson's De Molay sponsor and lifetime friend, witnessed in admiration:

At a De Molay initiation ceremony when Scoop was a freshman in high school, both of us were on the drill team. We were put up in Spokane in the Coeur d'Alene Hotel. Scoop and I shared one room. I guess we did not lock the door ... because a lady came in who said she was a nurse. She jumped in bed with Scoop, saying "I am going to take care of you." Scoop kicked her out. He was a very moral character. He kicked her out. But I think one of our fellow De Molays didn't.

    Jackson had girlfriends. His most steady was Dorothy White, who later became a physician in Oregon, but he did not date anyone seriously. Even in high school his thoughts were often on politics. "We used to kid about it," said Les Cooper, a close friend, remembering that "Scoop could not take a girl out on a date without talking about politics." Scoop told Fred Moore that he intended to be a senator as they prepared for their Smoot-Hawley debate. Moore considered him somewhat obsessed about the threat of invasion from Japan, which Henry would "expound on until it became a rather tiresome subject." He had no sense of humor about such things, according to Moore, who once needled him not to worry because he could count on the longshoremen, then on strike, to prevent the Japanese from landing. "Scoop was not amused. He didn't speak to me for a couple of weeks."

    The young Henry Jackson did not exhibit a great sense of adventure. There was, however, one exception, which acquainted him with the joys of the wilderness and perhaps played some part in his later incarnation as the major sponsor of landmark environmental legislation while in the Senate. In the summer between the eighth and ninth grades, he and friends Bob Humphrey and Ivan Ramsted took a seven-day trip into the mountains, around Glacier Peak in the North Cascades. The boys carried homemade backpacks, filled with homemade sleeping bags of heavy canvas which "weighed a ton." They brought their own food (pancake flour, canned milk, eggs in a jar), which they supplemented with fish caught in the river. However much Henry may have marveled at the splendor of the mountains, he was not eager to do his share of the chores. Humphrey recalled wryly that when it came to his day to light the fire and cook breakfast, "Scoop did not want to do it. It ties in to this talent he had to manipulate.... You have someone else do the yard work or cut the grass...."

    Although Henry did not finish high school at the top of his class, his teachers selected him for his overall academic and debating achievements to deliver one of the four commencement speeches at graduation, held in the Everett Theater in the spring of 1930. His topic was law enforcement: the importance of respecting the law, about which he spoke with great gravitas and at excessive length. Bob Humphrey summed up best the local consensus about what set the young Henry Jackson apart:

He had a fixidity of purpose, received good advice, and uniquely he followed it. He never took the detours that others of us took. He never messed around and was more dedicated than anybody I met. He did not go out looking for girls. He did not drink. He did not smoke. These things take time when you are young.... You do not meet many people like Jackson today. He was a very honorable man.


Jackson entered the University of Washington in the fall of 1930 just as the Depression had begun to hit Washington State severely. Thousands were out of work. In Everett, most of the major businesses had to close down. The Everett Pulp and Paper Company, the only plant running in the city, eventually cut back to three days a week. From the money he earned working, Henry had managed to save $2,000, enough to pay for much of his first two years of college. His sister Gert, making $1,200 a year as a schoolteacher, contributed significantly to defray his tuition and expenses. Nonetheless, he had to struggle financially to make it through college and law school.

    When he arrived on campus, he did not cut a dashing figure. Lloyd Shorett, Jackson's sponsor at Delta Chi fraternity and later a roommate in law school, portrays him as a young freshman "equipped with an old red sweater and with hair that stuck straight up in the air all the way around his head." Luckily, Jackson did not pay a social price for his awkwardness, for the Depression had caused a significant drop in the number of pledges to fraternities. So Delta Chi took him, according to Shorett, because the members "thought this young fellow had a lot of possibilities--and besides that we needed pledges."

    Jackson lived at the fraternity house only during his first quarter. Thereafter he commuted from Everett by car, driving several other students, to save money. He obtained the car thanks to the generosity of Abe Kosher, a Jewish family friend from Everett with a thick Yiddish accent, who ran an auto-wrecking yard and scrap metal business. When Jackson told him he planned to commute by bus because he could not afford a car, Kosher insisted he take the used car sitting out on the lot. "But I have no money," said Jackson. "Do not worry," replied Kosher, "you can pay me back someday when you are a success." When Jackson returned after graduating to repay him, Kosher did not want to accept any money, but Jackson insisted. Kosher set the price at $150, substantially less than the car was worth. Jackson never forgot his kindness and generosity.

    When he entered law school in the fall of 1932, Jackson moved back to the fraternity house, making up for the added expense by washing dishes and waiting on tables. He described his typical day as follows:

I used to get up at 5:00 A.M. to help set up tables and assist the cook. Then I would attend classes from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. I would rush back to wait on tables at noon and worked part of the afternoon. Then I studied part of the afternoon and worked again in the evening and studied until 12:00 A.M. or 1:00 A.M. or so.

    Jackson's persona in college and law school evoked much the same reaction as it did during his adolescent years in Everett. Friends and acquaintances described him as temperate, friendly, studious, and honest, with little interest in sports or recreation. In college, he performed solidly, but not brilliantly, with history again his best and most beloved subject. His studies and his need to make money left him little time to pursue his interest in politics, with just two known exceptions. Although never a socialist, he led the fight to allow Norman Thomas to speak on campus, because he believed strongly in free speech. Also, he joined the League for Industrial Democracy (LID), a moderate organization of intellectuals and professionals that supported trade unions and social democratic principles generally. His years at the University of Washington do, however, mark one of the major turning points in his life.

    At the end of his freshman year, Jackson spent the summer at Stanford, taking a full academic load in the hope of transferring there permanently. He wanted to pursue a career in the foreign service but feared that with thousands out of work the chances for employment after college were not good. Dr. Graham Stuart, a professor of international relations at Stanford who acted as a mentor, recommended that he study law. A law degree would ensure that he could support himself in private practice if necessary, and would also provide him with the best entry to politics, while preserving the option of joining the foreign service later if the employment situation improved. Finding that he could not afford the vastly higher cost of Stanford, Jackson returned to the University of Washington and followed Stuart's advice. He graduated from law school just making the top third of his class, a respectable finish that owed as much to hard work as to his natural ability. Stan Golub, a class behind Henry, then an acquaintance and later his best friend, recalled him as "not one to have a good time as so many of us did at law school. He really concentrated on the law, came from a family where they didn't have the money to waste on education frivolously. He really was a good student and very determined."

    Events rather than theories largely determine the political philosophy of most successful statesmen. Henry Jackson was no exception. Perhaps he might have become a Republican but for the Depression, as several of his Everett contemporaries surmised. But his days at the frat house exposed him to the real hunger and suffering that the Depression had inflicted on Seattle, an experience that was the genesis of his mature views about the need for a strong, active federal government. He watched in anguish as mothers came by to salvage for their families the leftover food in the fraternity's garbage cans. He talked and commiserated with these women. He also encountered the Depression at his family dinner table, where Marine Jackson frequently fed men in Everett who were down on their luck. An ardent believer in the importance of the rule of law, the subject of his high school commencement address, he not only empathized with those suffering but feared the social consequences if the government did not help them. As he later remembered:

There was not a welfare program nor a Works Projects Administration (WPA) program. The people were in desperate shape. In addition, they were being evicted from their homes. So it was a difficult period in our country's history. We almost had a revolution in the United States. In many instances, people who were hungry and desperate raided food chains. Several Safeways in Washington were raided. They would clean out the store and distribute the food among the needy. There was only limited food distribution, a limited amount of sugar, flower, salt, limited items. There was no means of properly feeding the people. People were literally starving. The patience of the American people during this period was hard to believe.


Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2001-01-03:
It is comforting to know decent politicians exist. Henry Jackson of Washington (1912-83) was unquestionably one of them, as Kaufman's deeply researched study makes absolutely clear. Moreover, Kaufman's cogent analyses of critical episodes and decisions in which Jackson had a part contribute usefully to knowledge of an era, particularly in energy policy, America's Cold War and international human rights role, and the travails of liberalism and the Democratic party. Educated in law and elected a prosecuting attorney at 26, Jackson represented his district in Congress (1941-53) until his constituents elevated him to the Senate, where he served honorably until his death. An influential leader of modest demeanor who twice failed to gain his party's presidential nomination, Jackson spoke strongly and wisely for New Deal liberalism (government intervention in the economy and control of energy production), domestic civil rights, and a hard line against the USSR and communism. Kaufman sees Jackson as a Cold War hawk who neatly blended principle with a strategy like that adopted by President Reagan. That strategy, he argues, was more responsible for Russia's demise than was Mikhail Gorbachev. The latter remains a matter of historical judgment. All collections. R. N. Seidel; emeritus, SUNY Empire State College
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2000-10-30:
Political scientist Kaufman informs readers early in his biography of the late senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson (D- Wash., whose 31 years in the Senate ended with his death in 1983) that Jackson did not drink or smoke, and that there was no whiff of scandal about him. His life was politics, and "Jackson's career refutes the cynical but prevalent view that good character and politics are mutually exclusive." Believing that being conservative on foreign policy (his distrust of the Soviets made him skeptical of d‚tente and, coupled with his support of President Johnson's Vietnam policy, ultimately marginalized his influence in the Democratic Party) and a New Deal liberal on the domestic front were not mutually exclusive, but, rather, compatible political positions, Jackson was admired by many (Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Jeane Kirkpatrick) for his political courage (read: independent views). Even among his critics there were those, like Henry Kissinger, who praised him. Disappointingly, Kaufman fails to provide much psychological insight into why Jackson, badly miscalculating, chose to run in the 1972 and 1976 Democratic presidential primaries, despite the ascendancy of the party's left wing. Nevertheless, the span of Jackson's career was formidable and full of historical events and personages; true to his claim, Kaufman cogently argues that Jackson played a pivotal role during the 1970s, laying the basis for America's successful foreign and defense policies in the 1980s, but at times he overwhelms the reader with the details of policy and political machinations. No doubt denizens of both Washingtons, as well as those interested in the history of American foreign policy, will gravitate to this book. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2000-09-15:
The terms "Jackson Democrat" and "Rockefeller Republican" may not have meaning for many people today, but in the period after the Korean War, they identified important wings of the two major parties. This book details the life and career of Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson of Washington. Kaufman, a political scientist at the University of Vermont, argues that Jackson's policies during the 1970s (opposing communism and dtente while supporting a strong U.S. military and involvement in Vietnam) were critical for the success of American foreign and defense policies of the 1980s. As one can sense from the thesis, the author's evaluation of Jackson's foreign and defense policies is basically sympathetic. The author uses interviews with members of the Reagan administration, as well as other materials, to support his position. While Jackson is remembered for his "hawkish" position on Vietnam and how it split the Democratic Party, the book recalls his extensive legislative legacy in the energy, environmental, civil rights, and social policy areas. In the end, Jackson was a complex man, and his many facets come through clearly in this well-written and thoroughly researched study.DThomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, September 2000
Publishers Weekly, October 2000
Booklist, November 2000
Choice, January 2001
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Publisher Fact Sheet
Senator Jackson served in Congress from 1941 to 1983 & had enormous impact on foreign policy & defense issues of the Cold War era.
Unpaid Annotation
Henry M. Jackson ranks as one of the great legislators in American history. With a Congressional career spanning the tenure of nine Presidents, Jackson had an enormous impact on the most crucial foreign policy and defense issues of the Cold War era, as well as a marked impact on energy policy, civil rights, and other watershed issues in domestic politics.Jackson first arrived in Washington, D.C., in January 1941 as the Democratic representative of the Second District of Washington State, at the age of twenty-eight the youngest member of Congress. "Scoop" Jackson won reelection time and again by wide margins, moving to the Senate in 1953 and serving there until his death in 1983. He became a powerful voice in U.S. foreign policy and a leading influence in major domestic legislation, especially concerning natural resources, energy, and the environment, working effectively with Senator Warren Magnuson to bring considerable federal investment to Washington State.A standard bearer for the New Deal-Fair Deal tradition of Roosevelt and Truman, Jackson advocated a strong role for the federal government in the economy, health care, and civil rights. He was a firm believer in public control of electric and nuclear power, and leveled stern criticism at the oil industry's "obscene profits" during the energy crisis of the 1970s. He ran for the presidency twice, in 1972 and 1976, but was defeated for the nomination first by George McGovern and then by Jimmy Carter, marking the beginning of a split between dovish and hawkish liberal Democrats that would not be mended until the ascendance of Bill Clinton.Jackson's vision concerning America's Cold War objectives owed much to Harry Truman'sapproach to world affairs but, ironically, found its best manifestation in the actions taken by the Republican administration of Ronald Reagan. An early and strong supporter of Israel and of Soviet dissidents, he strongly oppose
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prologuep. 3
The Everett Years, 1912-1940p. 9
Member of the House, 1941-1953p. 31
The Cold War Becomes Colderp. 53
The Eisenhower Years, 1953-1961p. 71
Khrushchev's Communismp. 95
Domestic Politics to 1961p. 106
Henry Jackson and the New Frontierp. 127
The TFX Controversy and the "Senator from Boeing"p. 140
The Great Liberal Crackup, 1964-1969p. 161
That Year: 1968p. 189
Jackson's Ascent, the Party's Descent, 1968-1972p. 200
Gearing Up for the 1972 Presidential Campaignp. 223
Perils of Detente, Part I: 1968-1976p. 242
Israel and the Cold Warp. 261
The Ford Administrationp. 287
Not in the Cards: The 1976 Presidential Campaignp. 301
The 1976 Democratic Primariesp. 323
Perils of Detente, Part II: 1977-1980p. 341
Human Rights, SALT, and Linkagep. 368
Anybody But Carter: The 1980 Presidential Electionp. 392
Sunset, 1981-1983p. 409
The Jackson Legacyp. 438
Notesp. 449
Bibliographyp. 513
Indexp. 527
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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