Politics of Conscience: A Biography of Margaret Chase Smith

Synopsis

This biography of Margaret Chase Smith is the first historical treatment of Smith to use her voluminous private papers as well as extensive interviews with Smith and her colleagues in Congress. As Maine's daughter, Smith was frugal, hard-working, reticent, and caustic. At age thirty-two she married, in scandal, state politician Clyde Smith with whom she had been involved since she was sixteen and who was twenty-one years her senior. Smith came to Washington when Clyde was elected to Congress and, against his wishes, she became his secretary. When Clyde died in office in 1940, Smith played the widow's game and successfully ran for his seat. In the House during World War II, Smith sat on the powerful Naval Affairs Committee and, tutored by committee counsel Bill Lewis, developed a national constituency, the military, which in turn allowed her to better serve Maine's interests. Lewis directed Smith's first Senate campaign in 1948 when she won an upset victory by an astonishing margin. Overnight she became the darling of the Republican party, the heroine of women everywhere, and the only woman in the United States Senate.

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 1995