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  • ISBN: 9780295976310
  • ISBN10: 0295976314

Warren G. Magnuson and the Shaping of Twentieth-Century America

by Shelby Scates

  • List Price: $27.50
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Washington Pr
  • Publish date: 11/01/1997
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Description
Warren G. Magnuson served as U.S. senator from the state of Washington for six terms. The sheer sweep of his accomplishments is astonishing: authoring the Civil Rights Act, protecting Puget Sound, saving Boeing for Seattle, championing consumer protection legislation, reorganizing the railroads, and godfathering the electrification of the Pacific Northwest by pressing for Columbia and Snake River dams. He pushed federal aid to education, while holding down Pentagon budgets, and established the National Institutes of Health (and kept its research funds flowing liberally) while arguing throughout the McCarthy era against U.S. isolation from China. tie did much more. But he was also a boon whiskey-and-poker companion to Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson.

Shelby Scates traces Magnuson's life from his early years in the Fargo/Moorhead region of the upper Midwest to his death in Seattle in 1989 at age 84. During a political career that spanned five decades, he was a member of the Washington State legislature, a King County prosecutor, a U.S. congressman from 1936 to 1944, and a member of the Senate from 1944 to 1981.

Senator Eugene McCarthy described Magnuson as the "most loved member" of the U.S. Senate, and this book reveals him at work there: a man not seeking the spotlight, not aspiring to be president, but enjoying what he called the "kitchen-work" of legislation done in the committee rooms, workrooms, and corridors of Congress; a man who would say, "Forget the grudge. Forgive, "and be the best example of that advice. He avoided pointless confrontations, made friends in both major political parties, and kept them, and had near flawless timing about when to make apolitical move. Magnuson created legislation that helped define twentieth-century America by increasing civil rights, mandating corporate accountability, and funding medical research.

Warren G. Magnuson and the Shaping of Twentieth-Century America reflects many years of research into Magnuson's official papers, housed at the University of Washington Libraries, and draws on hundreds of personal interviews with those who knew Magnuson best. The result is an insightful study of the man, and also of the workings of government, politics, and the media in both Washingtons from the mid-1930s to the early 1980s.

"No student of American history can afford to miss this account of how one politician, acting on conviction, was able to re-shape the lives of millions of Americans. It will rank among the best of the works on government and politics in 20th century America". -- George R. Packard, Johns Hopkins University

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