THIS IS HUMPHREY by Michael Amrine


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Echoing and reenforcing the cliche image of Hubert Humphrey as a brash, glib, aggressively liberal junior Senator turned mature (cautious?), Michael Amrine offers a portrait of the presidential hopeful in which Senator Humphrey emerges as a product of homespun Americana and a paragon of political virtues. Born in 1911 in a town of 500 in South Dakota, Hubert Humphrey gave early evidence of an agile mind and boundless energy. In 1929 he enrolled at the University of Minnesota but he was forced to leave when his father, a druggist, moved the family to Huron. He graduated from pharmacy college, married Muriel Buck, returned to the University of Minnesota, made Phi Beta Kappa and left with honors. In 1939 he received a Masters Degree from Louisiana State having written a thesis on the philosophy of the New Deal which, Amrine notes, was more an exposition on the philosophy of Hubert Humphrey. He taught for a while, held various jobs in the government and in 1943 ran for mayor of Minneapolis. He was elected mayor in '45 and Senator in '48. His biographer spends considerable time discussing Humphrey's performance as a junior Senator, the legislation he introduced, his accomplishments on the touchy civil rights question, his chances of receiving the vice-presidential nomination in 1956 and his much touted eight-hour-interview with Khrushchev in '58. Though he never makes any unflattering comments of his own Amrine quotes Time magazine on Humphrey: ""...too cocky, too slick, too shallow, too ambitious"" but he has a ""quick, retentive mind, inexhaustible vigor and considerable political courage"". The only fault his biographer concedes is that Hubert Humphrey talks too much.

Publisher: Doubleday