The powerful, acclaimed autobiography of a major political figure is now available in trade paperback. The late John Connally learned the ropes of rural Texas politics under Lyndon Johnson and worked his way up, getting wounded along the way allegedly by the same bullet that killed JFK. Connally's story is an essential contribution to our ...
The powerful, acclaimed autobiography of a major political figure is now available in trade paperback. The late John Connally learned the ropes of rural Texas politics under Lyndon Johnson and worked his way up, getting wounded along the way allegedly by the same bullet that killed JFK. Connally's story is an essential contribution to our understanding of recent American history. Photographs.
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Publishers Weekly, 1993-10-25 Writing with Herskowitz (coauthor with Dan Rather of The Camera Never Blinks ), Connally, who died last June, may consider himself to be in the shadow of history, but this shadow seems to know all and shares a lot of it in this juicy, blunt account of a political life. Connally starts with the assassination of President Kennedy, during which he, then the governor of Texas, was himself seriously wounded. He wholeheartedly agrees with the Warren Commission: ``I have no doubt, absolutely none, that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.'' Born in 1917 in Floresville, Tex., Connally, after putting himself through law school, hooked up with the man who would have the most impact on his career, Lyndon Baines Johnson (``generous and neglectful; charming and crude''). Connally recalls LBJ's narrow loss for the Senate in 1941 and his triumph in 1948 by 87 votes (earning him the sobriquet ``Landslide Lyndon''). He tells about LBJ getting the VP offer from JFK in 1960 and Bobby Kennedy trying to renege on it. He reveals how LBJ got bogged down in the Vietnam war and recalls his own solution: drop the nuclear bomb. He recounts bolting the Democratic party to become Nixon's Treasury Secretary in time to play a part in the financial crisis of 1971 when wage and price controls were imposed. Nixon (``a humorless man, and extremely private, almost antisocial'') floated the idea of putting Connally on the ticket in 1972 as VP, possibly appointing then-VP Spiro Agnew to the Supreme Court. When asked for advice on Watergate, Connally suggested that Nixon ``have a bonfire on the south lawn'' with the tapes. He goes on to speak plainly about the events that plagued the latter part of his career: his acquittal in the Milk Fund scandal in 1974, his disastrous run for the Presidency in 1980 and his subsequent bankruptcy. No supporter of ``petty'' George Bush or the Gulf War, which he calls ``history's longest-running campaign commercial,'' he relates his rescue mission to Baghdad in 1990, his meeting with Saddam Hussein and his success at gaining the release of 24 hostages. In conclusion, Connally states that Clinton has a chance to be ``a Franklin Roosevelt for the '90s.'' It sounds like there's still more FDR New Dealer in that now-silenced heart than Johnny-come-lately Republican. Photos not seen by PW . First serial to Time and Texas Monthly. (Nov.)
Publishers Weekly, 1994-10-10 A blunt, juicy account of the political life of the Texas governor. Photos. (Nov.)
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