A revelation of the wild, wily, and well-meaning chief executives of a colorful state
Walter Greaves Cowan and Jack B. McGuire, veteran authorities on the Louisiana
political scene, trace the history
of the state's leaders from the French
and Spanish colonial eras to the present
day. Using a variety of sources, including personal interviews with
the recent governors, they describe unforgettable personalities in Louisiana
Governors: Rulers, Rascals, and Reformers, now available in paperback.
Such early figures as Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and Jean Baptiste
Le Moyne de Bienville set the tone for later colonial governors. They
had their troubles, fending off protesting Indians and other French
and Spanish leaders vying for power. Following the Louisiana Purchase,
American politics took hold. The Whigs, Know Nothings, Republicans,
and Democrats have all waxed and waned through times
of slavery, secession, suffrage, and segregation. The early twentieth
century saw the rise of Huey P. Long, who established himself as a
virtual dictator. An assassin's bullet ended Long's life in 1935, but his
followers managed to hold on to the governorship until 1940. In 1948
his brother, Earl Long, brought the family back into power.
Over the years, two governors were impeached but were not removed
from office, and two governors were jailed in federal prison. The experiences,
decisions, and conflicts of Louisiana governors have reflected and
influenced the history of the state, often in dramatic and fascinating ways.
In forty years of journalism, Walter Greaves Cowan, New Orleans,
Louisiana, was reporter and editor of the New Orleans States-Item
and also vice-president of the Times-Picayune Publishing Corporation.
He is the coauthor of New Orleans Yesterday and Today and Louisiana
Yesterday and Today. Jack B. McGuire, Mandeville, Louisiana, public
relations director for the city of New Orleans from 1964 to 1970,
is vice president of Union Savings and Loan Association. He is the
author of Uncle Earl Deserved Better.
328 pages, 61/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 43 b&w illustrations, bibliography, index