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This is much more than a campaign document. It is an American success story- which might just possibly trace the dream pattern -- the poor boy who won the highest honor in the nation's gift. For Stuart Symington's career, while not quite a rags to riches story in the exact sense, had its background in a heritage of good blood and professional background, but the Civil War aftermath had made his grandparents and his parents poor; he knew what it was to work from childhood on, but he got a college education, the hard way, and he has known always what it means to meet a payroll. Wellman, his biographer, is also a man from Missouri, a newspaperman before he was a novelist. This is a labor of love- a tribute to Symington whom he considers a major political figure, in the best sense of the term. Early Symington showed a gift for taking almost defunct businesses and bringing them back to success. He entered politics by defeating a local politician backed by Truman; and in his last reelection, he won as a Democrat by some 400,000 votes while Eisenhower was carrying the state on the presidential ticket. His record in the Senate is an enviable one, on the liberal rather than the conservative side, striking successive blows for civil rights (as in the McCarthy investigation), and on one important committee after another,- Surplus Property Administration, National Security Resources Board, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Assistant Secretary of War, Secretary of the Air Force -- and currently, the No. 1 person in National Defense. There are few facets of government and administration with which he is unfamiliar. No matter what the future holds for him, his role as a good citizen, dedicated to service of his country, is enthrallingly presented here.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1959
Publisher: Doubleday