Catalogue


Red Pepper and Gorgeous George : Claude Pepper's epic defeat in the 1950 Democratic primary /
James C. Clark ; foreword by David R. Colburn and Susan A. MacManus.
imprint
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2011.
description
xvi, 206 p., 14 p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0813037395 (pbk. : acid-free paper), 9780813037394 (pbk. : acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2011.
isbn
0813037395 (pbk. : acid-free paper)
9780813037394 (pbk. : acid-free paper)
contents note
The Making of a Liberal -- The Junior Senator -- Making Enemies -- The Search for Peace -- The Controversial Politician -- Pepper and the 1948 Election -- The Opponent -- The Campaign Begins -- The Campaign and Civil Rights -- Old Friends, New Enemies -- Aftermath.
catalogue key
7977719
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [187]-197) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
For nearly a century in Florida and throughout the South, election to the United States Senate virtually guaranteed a lifetime position, especially if you were a Democrat. Certainly no Republican candidate stood a chance in the general election, and it was nearly unthinkable to imagine a serious challenger emerging in the primary. Claude "Red" Pepper first ran for the U.S. Senate in 1934. Though unsuccessful, despite allegations of voter fraud, he won a special election two years later after both senators from Florida died in office. Reelected to full terms in 1938 and 1944 as a vigorous supporter of the New Deal, he had every reason to suspect the seat was his indefinitely-or at least until he decided it was time to seek higher office. Pepper saw himself as the national heir to Roosevelt''s foreign policy; he encouraged cooperation with the Soviet Union, our World War II ally, and actively worked to defeat Truman's presidential nomination in 1948. After nearly fourteen years in office, Pepper had earned the enmity of the president, alienated most of his colleagues in the senate, and aligned himself with the ultra-left-wing politics of Henry Wallace. Still, in the entire history of the state, no sitting Florida Senator had ever been voted out of office. However, the political world was changing, and it was the right-leaning "Gorgeous" George Smathers, not Pepper, who recognized and took advantage of this fact. Smathers fought a vicious, bare-knuckled campaign, employing ferocious and divisive attacks against Pepper. He helped make "liberal" anathema to aspiring southern politics, and was the first of a new breed of conservative politicians-though not yet Republican-to rise to power. Eventually the era would be named for a junior senator from Wisconsin, but it was Smathers who first successfully employed the strategies of McCarthyism to unseat an incumbent. He was so successful, in fact, that before the general election Smathers had to reassure President Truman and other potential supporters that his loyalties did, in fact, lie with the Democractic Party. His resounding victory inspired others-including Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater-to adopt similar tactics in their senatorial campaigns. It also helped set the stage for the complete reversal of the political power structure that had ruled the South since the end of Reconstruction. Red Pepper and Gorgeous Georgeis a fascinating look at the campaign that changed everything in Florida-and the South. It is also a shocking, sobering reminder that, despite introducing the phrase "hanging chad" to the national lexicon, the 2000 presidential election was merely the second most important national election to take place in the state. James C. Clarkis a journalist, magazine editor, and a member of the history faculty at the University of Central Florida. He is the author of four books, including Faded Glory: Presidents Out of Power.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-04-01:
Clark (Univ. of Central Florida) presents a useful study of the southern political system early in its transition from the Democratic Solid South into the Republican-dominated system that prevails today. Senator Claude Pepper of Florida was first elected in 1936 and quickly became known as one of the most ardent New Dealers in Washington. During (and especially after) WW II, he became a supporter of the Soviet Union, even traveling to the USSR for a meeting with Joseph Stalin, and he became known for his support of political associations with communist leanings or connections, positions with which many of his constituents disagreed. Fellow Democrat US Representative George Smathers challenged Pepper in his 1950 reelection campaign and, according to Clark, established guidelines for using a political opponent's suspected (or in this case, real) pro-communist leanings as a successful issue. This was later exploited more famously by Joseph McCarthy and by Richard Nixon in his Senate campaign against Helen Douglas later that year. Parts of this book would have benefitted from fuller treatment of the subject, but it is nevertheless useful for the study of southern politics. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. J. P. Sanson Louisiana State University at Alexandria
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 2012
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Summaries
Main Description
For nearly a century in Florida and throughout the South, election to the United States Senate virtually guaranteed a lifetime position, especially if you were a Democrat. Certainly no Republican candidate stood a chance in the general election, and it was nearly unthinkable to imagine a serious challenger emerging in the primary. Claude "Red" Pepper first ran for the U.S. Senate in 1934. Though unsuccessful, despite allegations of voter fraud, he won a special election two years later after both senators from Florida died in office. Reelected to full terms in 1938 and 1944 as a vigorous supporter of the New Deal, he had every reason to suspect the seat was his indefinitely-or at least until he decided it was time to seek higher office. Pepper saw himself as the national heir to Roosevelt's foreign policy; he encouraged cooperation with the Soviet Union, our World War II ally, and actively worked to defeat Truman's presidential nomination in 1948. After nearly fourteen years in office, Pepper had earned the enmity of the president, alienated most of his colleagues in the senate, and aligned himself with the ultra-left-wing politics of Henry Wallace. Still, in the entire history of the state, no sitting Florida Senator had ever been voted out of office. However, the political world was changing, and it was the right-leaning "Gorgeous" George Smathers, not Pepper, who recognized and took advantage of this fact. Smathers fought a vicious, bare-knuckled campaign, employing ferocious and divisive attacks against Pepper. He helped make "liberal" anathema to aspiring southern politics, and was the first of a new breed of conservative politicians-though not yet Republican-to rise to power. Eventually the era would be named for a junior senator from Wisconsin, but it was Smathers who first successfully employed the strategies of McCarthyism to unseat an incumbent. He was so successful, in fact, that before the general election Smathers had to reassure President Truman and other potential supporters that his loyalties did, in fact, lie with the Democractic Party. His resounding victory inspired others-including Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater-to adopt similar tactics in their senatorial campaigns. It also helped set the stage for the complete reversal of the political power structure that had ruled the South since the end of Reconstruction. Red Pepper and Gorgeous Georgeis a fascinating look at the campaign that changed everything in Florida-and the South. It is also a shocking, sobering reminder that, despite introducing the phrase "hanging chad" to the national lexicon, the 2000 presidential election was merely the second most important national election to take place in the state.
Bowker Data Service Summary
The 2000 presidential election introduced the phrase 'hanging chad' to the national lexicon, but for those in the know the Florida 'election of the century' took place 50 years earlier. Claude Pepper was elected to the US Senate in 1944. This book tells his story.
Description for Bookstore
The campaign that changed everything in Florida "A fascinating study of two important Floridians at a critical juncture in American history, when anticommunism made a decisive mark on postwar politics and culture. Clark effectively untangles the divergent strands in the complicated story of the Florida senatorial election of 1950, and he does so judiciously and fairly. Crisply written, engagingly presented, and carefully researched, this is essential reading for students of modern America."-William Link, author of Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism "In this important and insightful work, Clark does much to separate myth from reality in the pivotal 1950 Florida Senate race that shaped state and national politics for decades to come. Red Pepper and Gorgeous Georgecaptures the drama, controversy, and chicanery of one of America's most memorable elections. A must read for anyone interested in Florida and southern history."- Keith M. Finley, Southeastern Louisiana University The 2000 presidential election introduced the phrase "hanging chad" to the national lexicon, but for those in the know the Florida "election of the century" took place 50 years earlier. Claude Pepper was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1944. A Democrat, he had every reason to suspect the seat was his indefinitely. Certainly no Republican candidate could challenge him in a general election. Pepper never counted on George Smathers. Pepper saw himself as the national heir to Roosevelt's foreign policy; he encouraged cooperation with the Soviet Union, our WWII ally, and actively worked to defeat Truman's presidential nomination in 1948. However, the political world was changing, and it was Smathers, not Pepper, who recognized and took advantage of this fact. Although McCarthyism was later named after the junior senator from Wisconsin, it was Smathers who first-and successfully-used such divisive tactics in what became a vicious, bare-knuckled campaign. Smathers's resounding victory inspired others, including Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater, to adopt similar tactics. It also helped set the stage for the complete reversal of the political power structure that had ruled the South for nearly a century. James C. Clark, former editor of Orlandomagazine, teaches history at the University of Central Florida. He is the author of four books, including Faded Glory: Presidents Out of Power. A volume in the series Florida Government and Politics, edited by David R. Colburn and Susan A. MacManus
Back Cover Copy
"A fascinating study of two important Floridians at a critical juncture in American history, when anticommunism made a decisive mark on postwar politics and culture. Clark effectively untangles the divergent strands in the complicated story of the Florida senatorial election of 1950, and he does so judiciously and fairly. Crisply written, engagingly presented, and carefully researched, this is essential reading for students of modern America."-William Link, author of Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism "In this important and insightful work, Clark does much to separate myth from reality in the pivotal 1950 Florida Senate race that shaped state and national politics for decades to come. Red Pepper and Gorgeous Georgecaptures the drama, controversy, and chicanery of one of America's most memorable elections. A must-read for anyone interested in Florida and southern history."-Keith M. Finley, Southeastern Louisiana University
Description for Bookstore
The campaign that changed everything in Florida “A fascinating study of two important Floridians at a critical juncture in American history, when anticommunism made a decisive mark on postwar politics and culture. Clark effectively untangles the divergent strands in the complicated story of the Florida senatorial election of 1950, and he does so judiciously and fairly. Crisply written, engagingly presented, and carefully researched, this is essential reading for students of modern America.”-William Link, author of Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism “In this important and insightful work, Clark does much to separate myth from reality in the pivotal 1950 Florida Senate race that shaped state and national politics for decades to come. Red Pepper and Gorgeous Georgecaptures the drama, controversy, and chicanery of one of America’s most memorable elections. A must read for anyone interested in Florida and southern history.”- Keith M. Finley, Southeastern Louisiana University The 2000 presidential election introduced the phrase “hanging chad” to the national lexicon, but for those in the know the Florida “election of the century” took place 50 years earlier. Claude Pepper was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1944. A Democrat, he had every reason to suspect the seat was his indefinitely. Certainly no Republican candidate could challenge him in a general election. Pepper never counted on George Smathers. Pepper saw himself as the national heir to Roosevelt’s foreign policy; he encouraged cooperation with the Soviet Union, our WWII ally, and actively worked to defeat Truman’s presidential nomination in 1948. However, the political world was changing, and it was Smathers, not Pepper, who recognized and took advantage of this fact. Although McCarthyism was later named after the junior senator from Wisconsin, it was Smathers who first-and successfully-used such divisive tactics in what became a vicious, bare-knuckled campaign. Smathers’s resounding victory inspired others, including Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater, to adopt similar tactics. It also helped set the stage for the complete reversal of the political power structure that had ruled the South for nearly a century. James C. Clark, former editor of Orlandomagazine, teaches history at the University of Central Florida. He is the author of four books, including Faded Glory: Presidents Out of Power. A volume in the series Florida Government and Politics, edited by David R. Colburn and Susan A. MacManus
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. ix
Forewordp. xi
The Making of a Liberalp. 1
The Junior Senatorp. 12
Making Enemiesp. 22
The Search for Peacep. 37
The Controversial Politicianp. 52
Pepper and the 1948 Electionp. 80
The Opponentp. 96
The Campaign Beginsp. 110
The Campaign and Civil Rightsp. 127
Old Friends, New Enemiesp. 136
Aftermathp. 156
Notesp. 169
Bibliographyp. 187
Indexp. 199
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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