Hubert H. Humphrey: The Politics of Joy

Front Cover
Transaction Publishers, Jan 1, 1993 - Political Science - 372 pages

Calls for greater morality in government and among politicians are a fixture of American political culture. Although there is no lack of opinion on what political morality means and how it might be achieved, few commentators have considered these questions in practical terms. In this major contemporary analysis of the life and work of Hubert H. Humphrey, Charles L. Garrettson examines Humphrey's career to provide an explanatory approach to the application of religious or moral principles to political practice. He does so without reducing this theme to sentiment or cynicism.

Humphrey's life and career constituted a striking and often conflicted amalgam of personal idealism and political realism. His ideals came literally from Main Street, America and on them he rode straight to Washington, D.C. to fulfill an exalted and selfless dream of public service. His years there, however, coincided with one of the most significant, tumultuous, and challenging times in American history: the 1960s-a tune not noted for its emphasis on Main Street values. Garrettson perceives a profound irony at the center of Humphrey's life; the very source of strength that brought him his greatest triumph and joy-his role in the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and thus the vice presidency-also brought him his greatest failure and grief--the presidential campaign of 1968 and his vulnerability on the issue of the Vietnam War.

Combining biography, history, and theoretical analysis, "Hubert H. Humphrey and the Politics of Joy "is built around essential defining questions: is morality principally a matter of belief or action; or is it instead a consistent, though admittedly tenuous, balancing of both. In testing Humphrey's life and career against these questions, Garrettson provides a necessary exercise in social science and a profound reflection on what it means to be moral in the political world.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Dream
5
Idealism Born Doland South Dakota
7
Idealism Embodied The New Deal as the Kingdom Nearly Come
43
Idealism Triumphant Into the Bright Sunshine
71
The Fact
101
Idealism Tempered The Most Miserable Period of My Life
103
Idealism Applied The Civil Rights Act of 1964
119
The Politics of Joy
275
The Active Humphrey
305
The Humane Humphrey
309
Significant Sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
315
EDCOR in Detail
319
The Complete 15 February 1965 Memo
323
Humphrey and Mansfield on Vietnam
327
The Economic Humphrey
331

The Irony of Idealism Applied Vietnam
155
HHH and Vietnam A Retrospection
195
Analysis
219
The Social Gospel Unleashed
221
Dream and Fact Amalgamated HHH as Nearly Christian Realist
247
The Effective Humphrey
337
Bibliography
341
Index
363
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