Synopses & Reviews
The career of Wayne Morse, Oregon's maverick senator (1944-68), offers insights on political issues that shaped the twentieth century and continue to echo in the twenty-first. Best known for being one of two senators to oppose the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that initiated U.S. military intervention in Vietnam, Morse also maintained outspoken, principled stances on McCarthyism, labor rights, civil rights, equal access to education, the death penalty, and the importance of the checks and balances written into the Constitution. Morse could be eccentric and contradictory, but he was consistent in his readiness to speak against prevailing opinion and party politics in support of his personal convictions. Drawing on archival research, oral histories, and interviews with scores of Morse's contemporaries, Mason Drukman captures the vitality of a man who became dean of the University of Oregon Law School at age thirty-two, was involved in labor struggles of the 1930s and 1940s, and became the member of Congress most responsible for improving American education during the years of the New Frontier and the Great Society. In a balanced account and with lucid prose, Drukman offers a critical look at several decades of U.S. politics.