Books by Tracy Campbell

Released: Nov. 8, 2005

"Valuable data for those seeking electoral reform in the age of hanging chads, gerrymandered districts and absent absentees."
Still upset by the events of 2000 and 2004? It won't cheer you to learn from this wide-ranging book that election-rigging is a time-honored American institution. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1998

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 felon—loss 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 rights and 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 full book review >