For decades after the Second World War, Senator James O. Eastland (1904-1986) was one of the more intransigent leaders of the Deep South's resistance to what he called "the Second Reconstruction." And yet he developed, late in his life, a very real friendship with state NAACP chair Aaron Henry. Big Jim Eastland provides the life story of this savvy, unpredictable powerhouse.
From 1947 to 1978, Eastland wore that image of resistance proudly, even while recognizing from the beginning his was the losing side. Biographer J. Lee Annis Jr. chronicles such complexities extensively and also delves into many facets lesser known to the general public.
Born in the Mississippi Delta as part of the elite planter class, Eastland was appointed to the US Senate in 1941 by Democratic Governor Paul B. Johnson Sr. Eastland ran for and won the Senate seat outright in 1942 and served in the Senate from 1943 until his retirement in 1978.
A blunt man of few words but many contradictions, Eastland was an important player in Washington, from his initial stint in 1941 where he rapidly salvaged several key local projects from bungling intervention, to the 1970s when he shepherded the Supreme Court nominees of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford to Senate confirmation. Annis paints a full picture of the man, describing the objections Eastland raised to civil rights proposals and the eventual accommodations he needed to accept after the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
|Publisher:||University Press of Mississippi|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.70(d)|
About the Author
J. Lee Annis Jr., Silver Spring, Maryland, has taught history at Montgomery College for the past thirty years, and he is currently chairman of the History and Political Science Department at the Rockville campus. He is the author of Howard Baker: Conciliator in an Age of Crisis, and, with Senator William H. Frist, the coauthor of Tennessee Senators, 1911-2001: Portraits of Leadership in a Century of Change.
Table of Contents
Key to Abbreviations vii
Chapter 1 The Beginnings of a Southern Solon 15
Chapter 2 Bilbo's Lieutenant 23
Chapter 3 Cottonseed Jim 34
Chapter 4 Bilbo's Nemesis 43
Chapter 5 The First Full Term of a Deep South Solon 57
Chapter 6 Reconstructing Europe 70
Chapter 7 Dixiecrat 78
Chapter 8 Great Southern Commie Hunter 95
Chapter 9 Mississippi Bourbon Politics in the Age of Eisenhower 116
Chapter 10 Chairman of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee 135
Chapter 11 Massive Resistance, Bourbon Style 150
Chapter 12 Big Jim and the Kennedys 172
Chapter 13 Big Jim and a Larger-Than-Life Texan 192
Chapter 14 The Best Chairman 226
Chapter 15 Big Jim and the Nixon-Ford Supreme Court 235
Chapter 16 Of Camille and Richard Nixon 249
Chapter 17 President Pro Tem 274
Chapter 18 Eastland Prepares to Go Home 289
Chapter 19 Home to the Plantation 310
Appendix: Letter from James O. Eastland to Theodore G. Bilbo 323
Sources Consulted 379