Monday, May 30, 2011

That's Not in my American History Book - Thomas Ayres (Review)

This is a little sample of what's contained inside this book. I chose this section because it was the first I read when glancing through the book and I figured that it was as good as any to share. 

First though, a little on the Author. The first part is a quote from the back cover:
 "Thomas Ayres, a veteran investigative reporter and award-winning columnist has written for The Dallas Times' quarterly publication Columbiad, and many other publications. He lives in Jonesboro, Lousiana"

My opinion of him is that he's a very witty and talented writer. This book is well worth the purchasing price and it is one of the few books that I would replace if ever lost or damaged just to have a copy laying around to share some good readin with friends as they stop by.

Dishonorable Opponent
(from page 103)

    Politics and political mudslinging have been around almost from the day prehistoric man dis­ covered mud. However, over the past two cen­turies American politicians have managed to re­fine the art-sometimes elevating it to creative heights, but more often dragging it to bottomless lows.

     In the creative category, one of the strangest campaigns ever waged was the one by George Smathers against Claude Pepper for the U.S. Senate in Florida in 1950. In his campaign speeches, Smathers began referring to Pepper as "a known extrovert." He spat out the words with such disdain, many in his audiences as­sumed the worst of Pepper. While Pepper was trying to figure out how to respond, Smathers revealed that his opponent's sister was "a thespian." He then accused Pepper's brother of being "a practicing homo sapiens." He charged that while attending college, Pepper "matriculated on campus," and that he "engaged in celibacy" before he was married.

     Smathers won the election.

      If that was the high point of political creativity, the low had to take place in Louisiana in 1932, when Earl Long called a political enemy "A big-bellied, lily-livered liar and the crookedest man who ever lived." The reference was to his brother, Huey Long. On an­other occasion, Earl became so enraged at his brother he called him a son of a bitch before fully analyzing the implication. 

     A favorite Earl Long tactic was to follow an opponent around and inspire impromptu debate by heckling from the audience. Not only did it save money, it allowed Earl to control the agenda for dis­cussion. However, on one occasion the practice backfired. Huey, then seeking election as a U.S. senator, was telling a large crowd what he had done for the people of Louisiana when Earl's shrill 'Dice came from the crowd. 

     "I know one person you ain't done nothin' for-your brother!"

LOL, That my friend is Dayum Good readin stuff an I rest my case! 

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