THE HONORABLE MR. MARIGOLD: My Life with Everett Dirksen by Louella & Norman Lee Browning Dirksen

THE HONORABLE MR. MARIGOLD: My Life with Everett Dirksen

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Appropriately ""Mr. Marigold"" for more than one reason -- the late Senator is remembered by many as a flowery old windbag named Ev whose political convictions also bent with the breeze -- but none of that here, for this is a partisan catalogue of personal memories by his wife of 45 years. She remembers Everett first as a passionate gardener, second as the Senator who spent ten years fruitlessly trying to persuade Congress to adopt the marigold as the national flower, third as a national Republican leader whose above-party-politics stance was responsible for Kennedy's Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and Johnson's Civil Rights legislation, fourth as a fiercely patriotic American and orator, fifth as a deeply religious lawmaker who introduced the anti-atheism Prayer Amendment and saint who found time each day for pious meditation, sixth as the husband who would have made a great President, seventh as ""my idol"" . . . let me count the ways. ""Mrs. D's"" gush and goo about ""My husband Everett"" (he called her Toots, Mumsie Sweet, Palsie-Walsie, etc.) is as thick as Ev's bombast, some of which is included here (for ""inspiration"") along with eulogies and quotes from sources attesting to the Senator's genius. ""I have always believed it was God's will for me to live so that I would meet Everett McKinley Dirksen,"" writes Mrs. D. and there's also a good bit about the first meeting at Bradley Univ. (she didn't like his ""smelly pipe""), the ""rather prolonged"" courtship and early married life, the child Joy, the house Heart's Desire, and of course his career (she was behind him, ""his personal devoted bookkeeper, Mrs. D""). A posthumous love letter with all the deficiencies of the genre.

Pub Date: May 5th, 1972
Publisher: Doubleday