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Hubert Humphrey: A Biography

$ 24.95

The most authoritative biography of the consummate liberal politician of the second half of the twentieth century.

The most authoritative biography of the consummate liberal politician of the second half of the twentieth century.

Hubert Humphrey was the consummate liberal politician of the second half of the twentieth century, evolving from charismatic mayor of Minneapolis to crusading U.S. senator to compliant vice president under the overpowering Lyndon B. Johnson—to defeated presidential hopeful.

Here is the most complete and authoritative biography of Humphrey ever written. Based on over two hundred interviews and access to his papers at the Minnesota Historical Society, it presents a portrait of a vivacious, complex man, the leading orator and most productive legislator of his age.

The book opens with an account of what may have been Humphrey’s finest hour, the 1948 Democratic National Convention, when the brash, young mayor of Minneapolis challenged Southern conservatives and committed his party to the civil rights laws that reshaped twentieth-century America.

Here too is the story of Humphrey’s failure to weather the contending passions and ambitions of the sixties, and of the humiliating bargain he made with Lyndon Johnson in accepting the vice-presidency in 1964. The author’s dramatic account of this relationship highlights Johnson’s ruthlessness and Humphrey’s inability to see the catastrophic political consequences of his blind loyalty to the president.

In Carl Solberg’s vivid retelling, Humphrey’s compassion and ambition, successes and ultimate failures, are placed in historical context and provide a vital source for the understanding of our times.


  • By: Carl Solberg
  • Format: Paper, 572 pp., 6 x 9, 10 b&w photos
  • Publisher: MNHS Press (November 2003)
  • Product ##: 0873514734


 Praise for Hubert Humphrey: A Biography

“I sat enthralled through chapter after chapter of this riveting biography. It is far and away the best book on Hubert Humphrey—a major contribution to our understanding of a fascinating man, and of our times. . . . Few books have so vividly captured the personal drama behind politics.” — Robert A. Caro

“An absorbing book, quick to read and difficult to put down.” — The New York Times Book Review

“A thoughtful, even-handed, and beautifully written biography.” — Journal of American History 

“Carl Solberg has written a model political biography. . . . Chronicles the rise and fall of one of the most engaging, and certainly one of the most decent, politicians in recent American history.” — Political Science Quarterly 

“No serious examination of this crucial era can afford to ignore Solberg’s superb biography.” — American Historical Review

“Solberg has made a single contribution to the political history of our times. . . . We can be thankful that the remarkable career of Hubert Horatio Humphrey has received its proper due in this eloquent and sagacious study.” — Journal of American Studies

 Carl Solberg is a former writer and associate editor for Time magazine and visiting scholar in the history department at Columbia University. He is the author of Riding High: America in the Cold War, Oil Power: The Rise and Imminent Fall of an American Company, Conquest of the Skies: A History of Commercial Aviation in America, and Decision and Dissent: With Halsey at Leyte Gulf.


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