Patterson for Alabama: The Life and Career of John Patterson

Overview

John Patterson, Alabama governor from 1959 to 1963, was thrust into the Alabama political arena after the brutal murder of his father, attorney general Albert Patterson in 1954. Allowed by the Democratic Party to take his father’s place and to complete the elder’s goal of cleaning up corruption in his hometown Phenix City, Patterson made a young, attractive, and sympathetic candidate. Patterson for Alabama details his efforts to clean up his hometown, oppose corruption in the administration of Governor Big Jim ...

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Patterson for Alabama: The Life and Career of John Patterson

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Overview

John Patterson, Alabama governor from 1959 to 1963, was thrust into the Alabama political arena after the brutal murder of his father, attorney general Albert Patterson in 1954. Allowed by the Democratic Party to take his father’s place and to complete the elder’s goal of cleaning up corruption in his hometown Phenix City, Patterson made a young, attractive, and sympathetic candidate. Patterson for Alabama details his efforts to clean up his hometown, oppose corruption in the administration of Governor Big Jim Folsom, and to resist school desegregation. Popular on all three counts, Patterson went on to defeat rising populist George Wallace for governor.
 
Patterson’s term as governor was marked by rising violence as segregationists violently resisted integration.  His role as a champion of resistance has clouded his reputation to this day. Patterson left office with little to show for f his efforts and opposed for one reason or another by nearly all sectors of Alabama. Stymied in efforts to reclaim the governorship or a seat on the Alabama state Supreme Court, Patterson was appointed by Wallace to the state court of criminal appeals in 1984 and served on that body until retiring in 1997. In 2004, he served as one of the justices who removed the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore for ignoring a federal court order.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This book meshes well with similar works relating to 20th-century Alabama political history and is well-organized. It is an excellent read.” —William H. Stewart, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Alabama

 “This strong book captures the feel of the John M. Patterson era, its politics, and insider decision making, showing how the system operated.” —Anne Permaloff, Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, Auburn University-Montgomery

“Howard shines in his treatment of the critical civil rights confrontations that played such a vital role in Patterson’s political success. He uses Patterson’s words, strategies, and actions, as well as those of civil rights activists, to allow the reader to draw an unbiased interpretation of those events.”—Journal of Southern History

From the Publisher

“This book meshes well with similar works relating to 20th–century Alabama political history and is well-organized. It is an excellent read.” —William H. Stewart, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Alabama

 “This strong book captures the feel of the John M. Patterson era, its politics, and insider decision making, showing how the system operated.” —Anne Permaloff, Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, Auburn University-Montgomery

“Howard shines in his treatment of the critical civil rights confrontations that played such a vital role in Patterson’s political success. He uses Patterson’s words, strategies, and actions, as well as those of civil rights activists, to allow the reader to draw an unbiased interpretation of those events.”—Journal of Southern History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817357702
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 266
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Gene L. Howard is author of Death at Cross Plains: An Alabama Reconstruction Tragedy and creator of the docudrama Wayfaring Stranger.

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Table of Contents

1 Looking for a rainbow in Phenix City 1

2 From El Guettar to the university 8

3 Praying the devil out of town 16

4 The RBA challenges the gangsters 25

5 Albert Patterson beats the mob 34

6 Assassins make a politician of John Patterson 48

7 Trying his father's murderers 64

8 Bankrupting the loan sharks 73

9 Playing cops and robbers with the Folsomites 80

10 Patterson sets his sights on integration 90

11 The Montgomery bus boycott changes Alabama forever 99

12 Nobody but the people 110

13 Alabama elects a boy governor 140

14 Trying to build a "better Alabama" 150

15 Battling black belters and courting Kennedy 159

16 MLK, Castro, and a new romance 171

17 Freedom riders tarnish Patterson administration 182

18 Scandal spoils Patterson's big finish 200

19 Twice embarrassed at the polls 213

Conclusion 223

App The Patterson cabinet 227

Notes 229

Index 251

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