A Rage For Justice

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$36.31
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 95%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $35.58   
  • Used (7) from $1.99   

Overview

This political biography of Phillip Burton (1926-1983) is the riveting story of one of the most brilliant, driven, and productive legislators of his—or indeed any—era of American politics. A ruthless and unabashed progressive, Burton terrified his opponents, ran over his friends, forged improbable coalitions, and from 1964 to 1983 became one of the most influential Representatives in the House. He also acquired more raw power than almost any left-liberal politician ever had.

Moving from grassroots campaigns to epic battles in the California state capital, and finally to the very pinnacle of power on Capitol Hill, John Jacobs's inside account of Burton's life shows how politics really works. He demonstrates the exercise of power in the hands of a superb strategist and shows an unheralded master going about his life's work during the glory years of postwar American liberalism.

Burton was an unforgettable, uncontrollable figure whose relentless day-and-night politicking distilled the raw essence of American politics. Jacobs brings to life Burton's seething, perpetual sense of outrage, gargantuan appetites, and dedication to the disenfranchized. Animated by a sometimes frightening drive for power—his only modern counterpart is Lyndon Johnson—Burton played a pivotal role in California and U.S. politics, championing welfare and civil rights, landmark labor legislation, environmentalism and congressional reform. His achievements included the groundbreaking black lung bill for miners and their families; Supplemental Social Security for the aged, blind, and disabled; and helping to secure America's extensive national park system.

Burton's failures were equally dramatic: in 1976, at the height of his power, he lost, by one vote, the chance to become House Majority Leader. Had he won this critical political fight, he no doubt would have become Speaker of the House.

Jacobs's account is based on Burton's personal papers and hundreds of interviews with people at every stage of his life, including four Democratic Speakers of the House. The result is a book that brilliantly demonstrates how one person can make a difference in public life.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
California Democratic Congressman Phillip Burton was not well known outside of Washington, D.C., and his home state. However, prior to his death in 1983 at the age of 56, Burton was one of the most influential legislators in Congress. He was a skillful broker of legislative coalitions that successfully passed liberal legislation dealing with civil rights, the environment, public welfare, and other issues. But he also had a personality that was as likely to repel others as to attract them. A member of his own party once described him as "the most unpleasant man in American government ...but the most competent Congressman in the country." Journalist Jacobs's well-researched account of Burton's career captures both his exceptional political skills and the personality flaws that probably kept him from realizing his goals of becoming majority leader and later Speaker of the House. This is one of the best biographies of an American politician published in recent years. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries.-Thomas H. Ferrell, Univ. of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette
Booknews
An account of the life and career of the left-liberal legislator who was one of the most influential Representatives in the House from 1964 to 1983, from the grass-roots campaigns that began and ended his career to power struggles in California's state capital and on Washington's Capitol Hill. His achievements included the black lung bill and Supplemental Social Security. Draws on interviews with friends and colleagues, including four Speakers of the House, as well as personal papers. Includes b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Nation
Provides an antidote to the "they're all the same/nobody cares about me" school of public thought that predominates in our ever more cynical political times. -- The Nation
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520204119
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 11/11/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 179,536
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

John Jacobs is Political Editor and columnist for the McClatchy newspapers based at the Sacramento Bee. He spent a year reporting for the Washington Post and fifteen years reporting for the San Francisco Examiner, his last seven years as Chief Political Writer. He is the coauthor, with Tim Reiterman, of Raven: The Untold Story of Rev. Jim Jones and His People (1982).

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)