Sly and Able: A Political Biography of James F. Byrnes by David Robertson, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Sly and Able: A Political Biography of James F. Byrnes

Sly and Able: A Political Biography of James F. Byrnes

by David Robertson
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Few political figures have had as long, as varied and as consequential a career in American history as Jimmy Byrnes.This master politician and self-made man served for half a century, as congressman and later as key New Deal senator from his native South Carolina; as Supreme Court justice; as "assistant president" during the Second World War; as Truman's secretary

Overview

Few political figures have had as long, as varied and as consequential a career in American history as Jimmy Byrnes.This master politician and self-made man served for half a century, as congressman and later as key New Deal senator from his native South Carolina; as Supreme Court justice; as "assistant president" during the Second World War; as Truman's secretary of state in the early years of the Cold War; and, finally, as governor of South Carolina. He came tantalisingly close to the American presidency and was a key participant in the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. In later years he was a seminal figure in the so-called Southern Strategy that brought Richard Nixon to the White House. For his shrewdness and mastery of the art of politics Byrnes earned the sobriquet "sly and able." He was surely both—and one of the key shapers of American politics in this century.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Born in near poverty, James Byrnes (1882-1972) rose to become a powerful New Deal senator, served briefly as a Supreme Court justice, was FDR's wartime economic czar, and was appointed by President Truman as his first secretary of state. Years later, as Democrat-turned-Republican governor of South Carolina, Byrnes implemented the so-called Southern Strategy to Richard Nixon's advantage at the 1968 Republican convention. Robertson, who has taught at Clemson Univ. in South Carolina, describes how close Byrnes came to becoming the thirty-third president, only to be double-crossed in 1944 when FDR discarded him as a political liability and picked Truman as his running mate. The author reveals new information about Byrnes's role in the dropping of the atomic bomb, the terms of surrender with Japan and Secretary of State Byrnes's most successful diplomatic achievement: maneuvering Soviet troops out of Iran in 1946. Robertson's account of this subtle, manipulative politician documents in detail how one man served in all three branches of government, acquired enormous political clout and wielded it with great effect. A major political biography. (Nov.)
Library Journal
The death in 1972 of South Carolinian James F. "Jimmy" Byrnes at the age of 89 ended a political career of well over half a century. Few political leaders have held so many different political offices. Byrnes served in both houses of Congress, held top-level administrative positions during Franklin Roosevelt's administration, was an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, served as secretary of state during the early part of Harry Truman's presidency, and was elected governor of his home state. He influenced many of the most important domestic and foreign policy decisions of Democratic administrations from Woodrow Wilson through Harry Truman. Biographer Robertson's comprehensive and well-researched examination of Byrnes's career emphasizes his considerable skills as a broker of political deals and a builder of coalitions-skills that contemporary politicians rarely possess to the same degree. A useful addition to the history collections of academic and large public libraries.-Thomas H. Ferrell, Univ. of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette
Booknews
Robertson, a former newspaper editor and English professor, details the life and career of the self-made South Carolina senator and statesman. The book covers Byrnes' elections to the House of Representatives in 1910 and to the Senate in 1930, his support of Roosevelt's New Deal programs, and his appointment to the Supreme Court in 1941, a post he soon resigned to become FDR's head of the Office of War Mobilization. Byrnes played a pivotal role in the decision to use the atom bomb, the negotiations of post war treaties, and the early stages of the Cold War. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393335156
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
06/20/2008
Pages:
676
Sales rank:
553,439
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 1.36(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >