27 March 2005

One of my recent obsessions: Huey Long, the renegade Senator from Louisiana who emerged as the greatest threat to Roosevelt in the 1930s before being assassinated. I'm reading the biography of Sen. Long by T. Harry Williams. It's gripping. This man was clearly the best politician I have ever read about (although I'd like to read more about Lyndon Johnson, FDR, and Abraham Lincoln before putting the question to rest).

Huey had his road to the White House mapped out when he was a teenager, and he almost got there according to plan. He trained as a travelling salesman for several years before running for office, which was just the perfect preparation. Huey's favorite book: The Count of Monte Cristo, about which he said: "I read it every year. The man in that book knew how to hate and until you learn how to hate you'll never get anywhere in this world." I sure hope not...

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