This massive and heavily detailed book tells the life story of the late Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House. ""Mr. Democrat' to a whole generation of Americans, and practical politician of the first order. If detail in any criterion, it will be a guidepost to Rayburn's life for many years to come. Beginning with Rayburn's last period of service under the Kennedy Administration and his death, it goes back to retrace his youth, his education in Texas, and his over 50 years in public service, 50 of them in Congress. Almost forgotten slogans such as Wilson's ""New Freedom"" come alive again, as does the atmosphere of World War I America. Rayburn's early Congressional years, his experiences during the Republican administrations of the 's, and his alliance to FDR in the early 's make long but interesting comments on the time as well as the Congressman. Then, like an explosive bomb, the New Deal bursts forth on the American scene. Crops and crop support, utility fights, rural electrification -- all the internal issues which marked the New Deal's first near revolutionary years -- are seen through Rayburn's own politics and his own -annual fights for . World War II, and the chance Rayburn had to vice president over Truman in 1944, are given long and fully developed chapters. But, because Rayburn's story is in a way the story of U.S. politics from World War I on, the book us into the Era with as much attention given to those eight years as to the New Deal. Rayburn's in out movement as Speaker, him right with Dixlecrats, and his balancing of local Texas with those of the nation in legislative fights give us highly interesting insights into the practical business of running the nation. Overly long, but filled with a wealth of Washingtoniana as well as detailed descriptions of the great ""Mr. Sam.