Short of the Glory: The Fall and Redemption of Edward F. Prichard Jr.

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $7.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 59%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $7.99   
  • New (7) from $15.95   
  • Used (6) from $7.99   


Arthur Schlesinger Jr. thought that he might one day become president. He was a protege of Felix Frankfurter and Fred Vinson—a political prodigy who held a series of important posts in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations. Whatever became of Edward F. Prichard, Jr., so young and brilliant and seemingly destined for glory?

Prichard was a complex man, and his story is tragically ironic. The boy from Bourbon County, Kentucky, graduated at the top of his Princeton class and cut a wide swath at Harvard Law School. He went on to clerk in the U.S. Supreme Court and become an important figure in Roosevelt's Brain Trust. Yet Prichard—known for his dazzling wit and photographic memory—fell victim to the hubris that had helped to make him great.

In 1948, he was indicted for stuffing 254 votes in a U.S. Senate race. J. Edgar Hoover, never a fan of the young genius, made sure he was prosecuted, and so many of the members of the Supreme Court were Prichard's friends that not enough justices were left to hear his appeal. So the man Roosevelt's advisors had called the boy wonder of the New Deal went to jail.

Prichard's meteoric rise and fall is essentially a Greek tragedy set on the stage of American politics. Pardoned by President Truman, Prichard spent the next twenty-five years working his way out of political exile. Gradually he became a trusted advisor to governors and legislators, though without recognition or compensation. Finally, in the 1970s and 1980s, Prichard emerged as his home state's most persuasive and eloquent voice for education reform, finally regaining the respect he had thrown away in his arrogant youth.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This biography — which often resembles an ancient Greek tragedy — draws on a variety of sources to piece together the complex history of a man whose political aspirations began as a child listening in on conversations at the Bourbon County courthouse." — Ace Magazine

"A rich American story. With objectivity and insight, Tracy Campbell recounts the dramatic life of perhaps the most brilliant man of my generation." — Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

"A biography of Edward Prichard harkens back to why we read history at all. Prichard's story, the narrative of his life, and the knowledge of his career all help us learn more about not only Kentucky and America, but about the human condition, about cowardice and courage, and about ourselves as a people and as individuals." — James C. Klotter

"An astonishing story of a gifted but flawed individual who overcame a great personal tragedy to lead a productive and successful life.... His story will appeal to all who are interested in the brilliant men who helped chart the country's course earlier in this century." — Katharine Graham

"A well-written and well-researched biography about a gifted man who needed a moral code and common sense" — Kirkus Reviews

"Bold and perceptive, one of the finest biographies ever written about any Kentuckian and one of the most accomplished volumes on the bookshelf of Kentucky history." — Lexington Herald-Leader

"A superb biography.... Offers convincing interpretations that will challenge conventional wisdom.... Bold and perceptive, one of the finest biographies ever written about any Kentuckian and one of the most accomplished volumes on the bookshelf of Kentucky history." — Lexington Herald-Leader

"An inspiring story, well-told" — Louisville Courier-Journal

"Campbell has produced a well-crafted biography that rescues Prichard from obscurity and recounts a tale likely to satisfy anyone with an interest in politics or human nature." — Philadelphia Inquirer

"A well-crafted biography that rescues Prichard from obscurity and recounts a tale likely to satisfy anyone with an interest in politics or human nature." — Philadelphia Inquirer

"Campbell traces Pritchard's life in conspicuously accurate detail, handling it affectionately but not uncritically." — Southern Seen

"A superb biography of the man regarded by many of his contemporaries as the most gifted of all the younger men who served FDR." — American Historical Review

"Where did the wunderkind go wrong? Such is the twisted tale Tracy Campbell unravels in this lively, full-scale biography, which rests on mountains of research, including interviews and an examination of the FBI files on Prichard." — Brightleaf

"Campbell tells a wonderful story of a rising star, a New Deal 'wonder boy' from Kentucky, who fell from grace and into jail because he forged 254 ballots during the 1948 elections.... The story of Prichard is also the story of the New Deal and corrupt politics in the South." — Choice

"A book of considerable merit.... Gives us real insight into Prichard's character." — Faith & Mission

"Will doubtless be the definitive study of Prichard for many years to come." — Filson Club History Quarterly

"A noteworthy and fascinating biography." — H-Net Reviews

"Fascinating and well-researched.... does justice to the complexities of Prichard's life and illuminates the history of the New Deal and the convoluted world of modern Kentucky politics." — Journal of American History

"An intriguing, meticulous, and evenhanded political biography of Edward F. Prichard Jr. (1915-1984), a legendary, complex, and ultimately tragic figure in Kentucky politics." — Journal of Appalachian Studies

"A compelling story, well told." — Journal of Southern History

"Campbell has used declassified FBI files, collections of papers, and extensive oral histories to write an intelligent biography; he is critical yet fairminded, and offers vivid anecdotes that lend his text considerable panache." — Princeton Alumni Weekly

Kirkus Reviews
The fascinating story of self-destruction by a child prodigy who became a leading savant of FDR's New Deal "brain trust." Campbell (History/Mare Hill Coll.; The Politics of Despair:Power and Resistance in the Tobacco Wars, not reviewed) writes of a precocious youngster born in Paris, Ky., in 1915, who learned his politics and legal debating skills in the "old boy"-powered political world of bluegrass Bourbon County, where stuffing ballots was a routine means of controlling elections. Young Prichard headed for the county courthouse after school let out rather than for a playground or the usual boyish watering hole. Campbell follows his brilliant academic career who entered Princeton at 16 and starred at Harvard Law School as a wunderkind who went on to clerk for FDR's Supreme Court appointee Felix Frankfurter. Prichard's spellbinding personality, great learning, and witty storytelling brought him many highly placed friends; he was called the brightest of the young men whom FDR attracted to Washington. He was a sought-after aide and advisor extraordinaire to James F. Byrnes and Thomas G. Corcoran in New Deal and wartime efforts. But Campbell also found that Prichard showed some flaws of immaturity: a tendency to show off and shock people, an intolerance of his intellectual inferiors, and an "end justifies the means" philosophy. One telling symptom of these: He was convicted of stuffing ballots back in Bourbon County in 1948. For years he suffered the existence of a convicted felonþloss of income and family, relentless pursuit by the IRS, etc. And his redemption? Prichard made an unlikely and laborious return to respectability via a new career as a leader in civil rightsand political and educational reform, until his death in 1984. A well-written and well-researched biography about a gifted man who needed a moral code and common sense.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813190969
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 10/15/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 0.79 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

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

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & 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 & 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 & 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 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


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & 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 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)