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  • Book Bleg

    Posted by Dan from Madison on April 6th, 2012 (All posts by )

    With the “protests” here in Wisconsin a lot of people have been invoking the “sacred” name of Bob LaFollette. When I tell my friends that I am surprised that they would support a Republican I get a lot of crazed looks. Of course when people invoke LaFollette around here they are thinking of the Progressive one, not the Republican one. And of course party philosophies change over time (does anyone remember the filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by Southern Democrats?).

    As another interesting side note, the great grand nephew of Bob LaFollette is Doug LaFollette, the current office holder of Secretary of State here in Wisconsin, an essentially meaningless role. He has announced his candidacy for governor in the recall election. And he is nuts, as you can see in this video. You would think the Democrats would kick a fruitcake like that out of their party.

    But I digress. Boy do I digress.

    I am looking for a book about Bob LaFollette that I can read that will give me a proper perspective of the man, where he came from and the actual story of his life, versus some watered down progressive tome. Any help here?


    3 Responses to “Book Bleg”

    1. ettubloge Says:

      Thomas Fleming’s book “The New Dealers War” spends a lot of time on LaFollette as he argued against the US entry into WWII.

      I gave my copy away but I am sure the footnotes will contain many good citations. Fleming renders LaFollette as a principled Progressive who did not change his stripes like so many Socialists did depending on our military relationship with the Soviet Union.

    2. Tim Says:

      There is an autobiography (see Wisconsin Historical Society). I think it is available through Library of Congress.

    3. Tim Says:

      There is also a biography by John Buenker, who is/was a history professor at UW-Parkside. I have seen his anti-Walker letters to the editor in the Racine Journal-Times so caveat emptor. He was a colleague of your old buddy, Doug LaFollette at Parkside.

      I have often wondered, being a product of Wisconsin myself, about this neo-Progressivism. Whenever traditional Wisconsin progressivism was taught in school, the quiz answers were always: Initiative, Referendum and Recall. These are all populist acts returning power to the public. Obama Progressivism always takes power away from the public and puts it in the hands of big government, czars, etc. Anyway, that’s what I find interesting about it.