by James Traub
- American History
He never gave up
Hubert Humphrey was liberalism’s most dedicated defender, and its most public and tragic sacrifice. In 1948, he defied segregationists and forced the Democratic Party to commit itself to civil rights. As a senator in 1964, he made good on that commitment by helping pass the Civil Rights Act. But as Lyndon B. Johnson’s vice president, his support for the war in Vietnam made him a target for both Right and Left, and he suffered a shattering loss in the presidential election of 1968.
Even after his defeat, he crafted a new vision of economic justice to counter the yawning political divisions consuming American politics. This biography reveals a deep-dyed idealist willing to compromise and even fight ugly in pursuit of a better society.
“Hubert Humphrey’s life precisely overlapped the rise and fall of big-government liberalism as the dominant creed in American politics. James Traub’s wise and absorbing biography of Humphrey never stints in crediting him with helping shape that political moment, and never flinches from showing how little he was able to do to resist its passing. True Believer brings to life an unjustly forgotten politician and reminds us that it is possible for a politician to be an honorable and good-hearted person.”―Nicholas Lemann
Additional Book Details
|February 13, 2024