Richard B. Russell, Jr., Senator from Georgia

By Gilbert C. Fite | Go to book overview

13
A Bid for the Presidency, 1952

Severe problems faced the Democrats as they looked toward the presidential election of 1951. Divisions within the party were particularly foreboding. Southerners were up in arms over Truman's continued push for civil rights legislation and over the belief that the party had come under the domination of special interests, especially organized labor and minority groups. Moreover, many Democrats outside the South could see little to admire in the Truman administration. The unpopular war in Korea, accusations of administrative corruption, and charges that the administration was soft on communism gave the Democrats an unpopular public image.

Dick Russell took no delight in these Democratic troubles. After all, he considered himself a loyal and true Democrat. Moreover, if Democrats lost control of Congress as they had in 1946, he and several of his southern friends would lose their positions of power and leadership in the Senate. There was, however, one glimpse of hope from Russell's viewpoint. The confusion and divisiveness within Democratic ranks offered an opportunity for the South to regain some of its lost influence in party affairs. If southerners could get organized and help nominate a candidate less confrontational with the South than Truman, southerners would have gained a good deal. The South, Russell insisted, must cease being a source of Democratic votes that actually helped to keep the northern, liberal wing of the party in power. How could this idea be achieved?

One approach was to nominate a candidate from the South. Every careful observer of the Democratic party, however, knew that such a possibility was very remote. Another more practical idea was to organize enough strength so that southerners would have major influence when it came time to nominate a candidate and write a platform for 1952. As southern leaders considered possible candidates from Virginia

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Richard B. Russell, Jr., Senator from Georgia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - A Rich Heritage 1
  • 2 - In School, 1911-1918 16
  • 3 - Political Apprenticeship 37
  • 4 - The Campaign for Governor 60
  • 5 - Governor Russell 79
  • 6 - Election to the United States Senate 101
  • 7 - Russell Goes to Washington 122
  • 8 - The Later New Deal 149
  • 9 - Foreign Affairs and World War II 175
  • 10 - Russell and Postwar America 199
  • 11 - Russell, Truman, and Civil Rights 224
  • 12 - Dangers at Home and Abroad 243
  • 13 - A Bid for the Presidency, 1952 271
  • 14 - Russell in the Eisenhower Years 301
  • 15 - Civil Rights: The 1950s 329
  • 16 - Russell and the Cold War 349
  • 17 - Kennedy, Russell, and the New Frontier 371
  • 18 - Johnson and the Great Society 404
  • 19 - The Frustration of Vietnam 435
  • 20 - The End of a Long Career 465
  • 21 - Summing Up 494
  • Notes 503
  • Index 555
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