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Posted April 21, 2013
Thanks to the fascinating Ken Burns documentary, "Huey Long," 1985, for including the title of this engaging autobiography. The Long political machine pretty much evaporated after his assassination and, as history is written by the winners, it is refreshing to read an explanation in Long's own words of some of the actions, events, motives, and methods his detractors attacked, otherwise questioned, or outright misrepresented.
For the most part, I think, Long's words simultaneously resound with down-home, small-town genuineness and the undeniable brilliance of a man who passed the bar exam after as little as one or two semesters of undergraduate study and a single year at the Tulane University Law School.
Huey Long was a very persuasive speaker and writer who once boasted, "I can sell anything to anybody," but, together with the Burns documentary, I'm ever more thoroughly convinced that there has been an ongoing campaign by various special and corporate media interests to besmirch the memory of this tireless champion of the downtrodden and powerless.
Long's thinking regarding his "Share Our Wealth" program seems especially applicable in these times of increasing income inequality and greater consolidation of assets which -- absent the means of more equitable redistribution via aggressively progressive income tax, inheritance tax, and other ideas Long proposed and/or supported -- spell doom for democracy, the so-called American Dream, and even the very idea of "America" itself.
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