From the late 1940s through the 1970s, John Sherman Cooper, a quiet lawyer from Kentucky, ascended to become one of America's leading statesmen. Cooper's embodiment of the values of his rural upbringing, his understanding of people and their problems, and his openness and integrity were the qualities that Schulman believes, paradoxically won him success in dealing with the most powerful and sophisticated of the world's leaders. They are the qualities elicited in this warm memoir.
Cooper's political career began in his native Pulaski County, where he served two terms as county judge during the Depression. But its climax came in the United States Senate. Upon his retirement in 1972, he was hailed as one of the most influential in the history of that body. First elected to the Senate in 1947, Cooper worked for internationalism from the beginning of his career, later led the fight against the ABM, and with Frank Church sponsored crucial amendments that ushered in the withdrawal from Vietnam
Balanced against this senate career are his contributions in diplomacy representative to the UN, the establishment of NATO, ambassador to India, a confidential mission to India and Russia, and appointment as the first American ambassador to the German Democratic Republic. In these positions he won the respect, even the admiration, of leaders as diverse as Willy Brandt, Anastas Mikoyan, and Jawaharlal Nehru.