Clicky


Archive for March 23rd, 2020

First biography on Jack Brooks, The Meanest Man in Congress, garners national attention for important legislator

Monday, March 23rd, 2020 by Matthew Byrne

1588383210All this talk about the office of the President, be it how Trump is or is not fit for it or who among his Democratic challengers represents our best chance for positive change, reminds us of the strength and character of Jack Brooks, perhaps the best-suited analyst of the Oval Office in our history. A Texas Democrat, Brooks served for nearly fifty years under ten presidents, some of them among our best (John F. Kennedy), our worst (Richard Nixon), and our most complex (Lyndon B. Johnson). With the recent release of the first biography on his life, titled The Meanest Man in Congress, the late Jack Brooks has finally begun to receive the recognition he deserves for his political acumen and ability to work both sides of the aisle in pushing through important (i.e., the Civil Rights Act) legislation. Several book events have brought Brooks’s story to interested audiences, including a singular program with opening reception at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. There, moderator Henrik Hertzberg (The New Yorker) spoke with co authors Tim and Brendan McNulty about Brooks’s legacy to a packed house. The program can be viewed thanks to C-SPAN’s Book TV. In a related development, The Jack Brooks Foundation was officially launched, an organization devoted to perpetuating Brooks’s ideals and legacy. A first initiative: The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History is partnering with the foundation to digitize Brooks’s papers so that they are available to political historians and scholars in the years to come.