A Political Passage: The Career of Stratton of Illinois
by David Kenney
This first biography of William C. Stratton covers Illinois politics and the Stratton family from the 1920s through the 1950s. Born into a political ... Show synopsis This first biography of William C. Stratton covers Illinois politics and the Stratton family from the 1920s through the 1950s. Born into a political family and immersed in Republican politics throughout his youth, Stratton never seriously considered a career other than the one that led him to be a member of congress, state treasurer, and two-term governor of Illinois from 1953 to 1961. Shortly after Stratton lost the 1960 Illinois gubernatorial race by a wide margin, federal agents began to check his financial records for possible income tax evasion. The IRS accused him of spending political contributions for personal use without paying taxes on them. Stratton was acquitted, but his political career was virtually finished, even though he did run again for governor in 1968. Basing his work on original sources--including interviews with Stratton--David Kenney focuses on how and why Stratton became involved in politics. He examines Stratton's goals and the methods he used to achieve them. His discussion of factionalism and the continuing conflicts within the Republican party from the 1920s through the 1950s provides a closeup portrait of Illinois party politics on all levels.