Email this review


Vice President Garner once remarked that ""in the Senate it's more important to have guts than brains."" He said this to Senator Wheeler, and added, ""And you've got guts."" Wheeler did indeed have ""guts"" as his dominant quality, but no one who knows his story would call him entirely lacking in the other quality. This is that story, told in the Senator's own words, from his Massachusetts childhood and law career in Montana, through his many years as one of the greatest figures in the age of legislative giants. It is colorful history, and if told one-sidedly, it is a side which contemporary historians have tended to slight. Called a Red in the '20's and a reactionary and isolationist in the '40's, Wheeler could never properly be termed a turncoat; it was the times that changed, much more than he. From his expose of the Ohio gang, to his blocking of FDR's attempt to pack the Supreme Court, to his efforts to keep us out of World War II, he was true to the ideals of Jeffersonian democracy, at least as his conscience interpreted them. Always controversial and never far from the center of any battle royal, he remembers every person and issue with zest and frankness which make for fascinating reading. It is with regret and some longing that we must recognize him as one of a breed of uncompromising statesmen that will come no more to Washington.

Publisher: Doubleday