Sly and Able: A Political Biography of James F. Byrnes

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9780393033670: Sly and Able: A Political Biography of James F. Byrnes
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Tells the story of the senator from South Carolina who helped pass New Deal legislation and went on to become Supreme Court justice, economic director during World War II, Truman's secretary of state, and governor of South Carolina.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Born in near poverty, James Byrnes (1882-1972) rose to become a powerful New Deal senator, served briefly as a Supreme Court justice, was FDR's wartime economic czar, and was appointed by President Truman as his first secretary of state. Years later, as Democrat-turned-Republican governor of South Carolina, Byrnes implemented the so-called Southern Strategy to Richard Nixon's advantage at the 1968 Republican convention. Robertson, who has taught at Clemson Univ. in South Carolina, describes how close Byrnes came to becoming the thirty-third president, only to be double-crossed in 1944 when FDR discarded him as a political liability and picked Truman as his running mate. The author reveals new information about Byrnes's role in the dropping of the atomic bomb, the terms of surrender with Japan and Secretary of State Byrnes's most successful diplomatic achievement: maneuvering Soviet troops out of Iran in 1946. Robertson's account of this subtle, manipulative politician documents in detail how one man served in all three branches of government, acquired enormous political clout and wielded it with great effect. A major political biography.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

The death in 1972 of South Carolinian James F. "Jimmy" Byrnes at the age of 89 ended a political career of well over half a century. Few political leaders have held so many different political offices. Byrnes served in both houses of Congress, held top-level administrative positions during Franklin Roosevelt's administration, was an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, served as secretary of state during the early part of Harry Truman's presidency, and was elected governor of his home state. He influenced many of the most important domestic and foreign policy decisions of Democratic administrations from Woodrow Wilson through Harry Truman. Biographer Robertson's comprehensive and well-researched examination of Byrnes's career emphasizes his considerable skills as a broker of political deals and a builder of coalitions-skills that contemporary politicians rarely possess to the same degree. A useful addition to the history collections of academic and large public libraries.
Thomas H. Ferrell, Univ. of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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