10 books like Huey Long

By T. Harry Williams,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Huey Long. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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All the King's Men

By Robert Penn Warren,

Book cover of All the King's Men

The early ‘30s were marked by the rise of Huey P. Long, Louisiana’s populist governor, senator, and cult leader whom FDR called “the most dangerous man in America.” In All the King’s Men, the character of Willie Stark is based on Long and gives us a richly detailed look into the labyrinthine politics of the times. Fiction, but painfully true, not just to Long and the ways he corrupted decent people but to our own political times, as well. Favorite quote: “Politics is a matter of choices, and a man doesn't set up the choices himself. And there is always a price to make a choice. You know that. You've made a choice, and you know how much it cost you. There is always a price.”

All the King's Men

By Robert Penn Warren,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked All the King's Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Willie Stark's obsession with political power leads to the ultimate corruption of his gubernatorial administration.

Plunkitt of Tammany Hall

By William L. Riordan,

Book cover of Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics

Plunkitt infected me with “the political bug.” George Washington Plunkitt’s “very plain talks on very practical politics” showed me the joys of playing the political game, of devising and executing strategies and tactics, of outwitting opponents. I first read Riordon’s classic for grade school and loved its gritty romp through turn-of-the-century New York. I reread the book for a college history course and came to appreciate politics as the art of the possible – and to see the innate conflict between ambition and conscience. After seven years in journalism, I “crossed to the dark side” and became a political operative, partly because Plunkitt had shown me that playing politics can be far more rewarding – and fun – than watching it.

Plunkitt of Tammany Hall

By William L. Riordan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Plunkitt of Tammany Hall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Gay Place

By Billy Lee Brammer,

Book cover of The Gay Place

Brammer’s novel has resonated throughout my career, warning of almost inevitable disillusionment with a political powerhouse. Brammer had served as a top aide to Lyndon Johnson, on whom he based Arthur Fenstemaker, a star as bright as Penn Warren’s Willie Stark. The Gay Place spoke to me even more directly, focusing on minor politicos and their ambitions, frailties, and humanity. And the book drove home, through a pervading sadness, the anomie that rises from disillusionment. Brammer’s “Flea Circus” metaphor continues to amuse and bum me.

The Gay Place

By Billy Lee Brammer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Gay Place as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set in Texas, The Gay Place consists of three interlocking novels, each with a different protagonist-a member of the state legislature, the state's junior senator, and the governor's press secretary. The governor himself, Arthur Fenstemaker, a master politician, infinitely canny and seductive, remains the dominant figure throughout.

Billy Lee Brammer-who served on Lyndon Johnson's staff-gives us here "the excitement of a political carnival: the sideshows, the freaks, and the ghoulish comedy atmosphere" (Saturday Review).

Originally published in 1961, The Gay Place is at once a cult classic and a major American novel.


The Last Hurrah

By Edwin O'Connor,

Book cover of The Last Hurrah

James Curley, former Boston mayor, Massachusetts governor, and jailbird – not in that order – was as grand a politico as Huey Long or LBJ, and O’Connor’s novel based on his career holds its own with the classic romans à clef on those two. Frank Skeffington was also a self-made populist, but O’Connor’s book centers on big-city politics and ethnic tensions, which were more immediate to me – I grew up in New York City. Skeffington, a charmer, considered himself innately decent, an honorable man forced to play a dirty game, which made one of my father’s maxims echo: Beware of anyone with a clean conscience.  Skeffington honed words as weapons, which helped me appreciate the power of a good quip.

The Last Hurrah

By Edwin O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Hurrah as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"We're living in a sensitive age, Cuke, and I'm not altogether sure you're fully attuned to it." So says Irish-American politician Frank Skeffington-a cynical, corrupt 1950s mayor, and also an old-school gentleman who looks after the constituents of his New England city and enjoys their unwavering loyalty in return. But in our age of dynasties, mercurial social sensitivities, and politicians making love to the camera, Skeffington might as well be talking to us.

Not quite a roman a clef of notorious Boston mayor James Michael Curley, The Last Hurrah tells the story of Skeffington's final campaign as witnessed through the…

Jefferson's Louisiana

By George Dargo,

Book cover of Jefferson's Louisiana: Politics and the Clash of Legal Traditions

Jefferson's Louisiana is an absorbing study of a clash of cultures that helped to shape America's legal empire as it moved westward. Louisiana, governed by Spain and France under civil law codes for nearly a century before it became part of the United States, was a crossroads at which English law (dominant elsewhere in the new nation) and European law collided. Prof. Dargo first describes the uneasy cultural accommodation that French and Spanish settlers made with American immigrants at the turn of the nineteenth century, an accommodation made more challenging by Aaron Burr's simultaneous efforts to foment revolution in the trans-Appalachian West. Dargo then tells the story of how American and old-settler jurists collaborated to shape a new Louisiana code amalgamating common and civil law. 

Jefferson's Louisiana

By George Dargo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jefferson's Louisiana as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


American Hippo

By Sarah Gailey,

Book cover of American Hippo: River of Teeth, Taste of Marrow, and New Stories

A reimagining of how one decision could change the American landscape… why Thomas Jefferson decided against introducing hippopotamuses to the swamps and marshes of the American South, I’ll never know. But Sarah Gailey gives us a glimpse into this alternative history and it is full of water bearers as fearsome and loyal as any war horse. Reading this in one sitting on a plane ride, I was fascinated by how vastly differentand dangerousthe Mississippi bayous could be when full of a certain shady type of gunslinger creeping through the water with Spanish moss hanging overhead. I suspect if I were alive in this alternative timeline, I might’ve ended up seeking my fortune by holding up a steamboat… especially if I had a hippo as my trusty companion.   

American Hippo

By Sarah Gailey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked American Hippo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 2017 Sarah Gailey made her debut with River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow, two action-packed novellas that introduced readers to an alternate America in which hippos rule the colossal swamp that was once the Mississippi River. Now readers have the chance to own both novellas in a single, beautiful volume.

Years ago, in an America that never was, the United States government introduced herds of hippos to the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This plan failed to take into account some key facts about hippos: they are savage, they are…

A Thin Dark Line

By Tami Hoag,

Book cover of A Thin Dark Line

The first in the Doucet series and a real nail-biter. A killer has been set free and the couple must team up to catch him. The trail leads them through the bayous of Louisiana and the author does a great job at escalating the tension between them and the environment. 

A Thin Dark Line

By Tami Hoag,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Thin Dark Line as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A botched investigation - and a killer walks free...

The death of a beautiful woman ... an arrogant man who claimed to be her suitor but was probably her murderer ... a cop accused of planting evidence ... and a town steeped in secrets and shadows.

Deputy Annie Broussard is still haunted by the case of Pamela Bichon. The killer walked free, and Annie can't forget the sight of Pamela's mutilated body.

But her obsessive search for justice lands her with a dilemma where she must defend or accuse a fellow cop ...


Bounded Lives, Bounded Places

By Kimberly S. Hanger,

Book cover of Bounded Lives, Bounded Places: Free Black Society in Colonial New Orleans, 1769–1803

Kimberly Hanger’s Bounded Lives, Bounded Places establishes the role of free people of color in Spanish New Orleans. She traces families and individuals of color throughout the Spanish decades and weaves a rich tapestry of their world in the Crescent City. Women play an important role in her work, and she teases out the way that free people of color sought to fit in the colonial society of Louisiana. While never able to become equal to white people, they created a space above enslaved people that enabled them to participate as ‘almost free’ in New Orleans’s society.

Bounded Lives, Bounded Places

By Kimberly S. Hanger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bounded Lives, Bounded Places as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During Louisiana's Spanish colonial period, economic, political, and military conditions combined with local cultural and legal traditions to favor the growth and development of a substantial group of free blacks. In Bounded Lives, Bounded Places, Kimberly S. Hanger explores the origin of antebellum New Orleans' large, influential, and propertied free black-or libre-population, one that was unique in the South. Hanger examines the issues libres confronted as they individually and collectively contested their ambiguous status in a complexly stratified society.
Drawing on rare archives in Louisiana and Spain, Hanger reconstructs the world of late-eighteenth-century New Orleans from the perspective of its…

On The Trail of Delusion

By Fred Litwin,

Book cover of On The Trail of Delusion: Jim Garrison: The Great Accuser

In a similar vein to False Witness, Litwin not only exposes the shortcomings of the Garrison investigation into the JFK murder but in the process uncovers the fraud and false information that are cited to support some of the currently popular conspiracy theories about the assassination. It is filled with new information from Litwin’s own extensive research.

On The Trail of Delusion

By Fred Litwin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On The Trail of Delusion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Taltos

By Anne Rice,

Book cover of Taltos

In her final novel of the Mayfair Witch Trilogy, Anne Rice really seduced me with the concept of the sympathetic monster. Ash, her Taltos character is inhuman, but so pure and love-filled, I understood that an inhuman character can be used to highlight humanity’s greatest strengths. Around the creation of her creatures, she wove a history of fiction and legend and Celtic history that I found fascinating. I read this book almost thirty years ago, and it’s still one of those books that I hark back to as inspiration.

Taltos

By Anne Rice,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Taltos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SOON TO BE A MAJOR TV SHOW, FROM THE NETWORK BEHIND THE WALKING DEAD

'[W]hen I found Rice's work I absolutely loved how she took that genre and (...) made [it] feel so contemporary and relevant' Sarah Pinborough, bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes

'[Rice wrote] in the great tradition of the gothic' Ramsey Campbell, bestselling author of The Hungry Moon

The Mayfair Witches face an unimaginable new threat: the Taltos - the giant race gifted with preternatural knowledge, who breed in minutes and live for centuries. The race that spawned the monster-innocent Lasher, who gave the witches their power…


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