THE LAST OF THE COLD WAR LIBERALS by William W. & Richard W. Larsen Prochnau


Email this review


Campaign biographies are now an obligatory part of that jejune ritual for those entering the presidential lists and almost without exception such personal histories show a weasel-like devotion to the prospective candidate, puffing up his record and glossing over or ignoring the dirty linen. This one -- the ""unauthorized"" life of Senator Henry M. ""Scoop"" Jackson, the Democrat from Washington State -- is neither the worst nor the best example of the genre, perhaps because Jackson is truly a dull person: not even his closest political friends have an inkling about the inner man and the best Scoop can manage on the subject is ""I have an inner toughness."" Prochnau and Larsen, both political writers for the Seattle Times, profile Jackson's career from conscientious newsboy (source of his nickname) to his first elected post (a county prosecuting attorney where his non-drinking habits and lace curtain attitude toward whorehouses and pinball machines earned him the more appropriate nickname ""Soda Pop"") to his election to the House in 1938 at age 27 and then to the Senate 14 years later. Jackson, who has always practiced ""bring-home-the-bacon"" politics (he's also known as the Senator from Boeing), is painted here as a good liberal middle-of-the-roader, not so much a hawk on national defense but an ""internationalist, while the rest of his party seems to be creeping in another direction""; he's the man who opposed both McCarthys, ""pretty-boy pinko"" in the '50's and the subject of ""Henry Jackson Suffers from a Military-Industrial Complex"" posters in the '60's. Despite 'the authors' best efforts, this book can only lose Jackson votes, i.e., who's going to pull the lever for a man who says ""You just don't get any brownie points for worrying about national defense,"" even if he does look like Jimmy Stewart?

Pub Date: March 2nd, 1972
Publisher: Prentice-Hall