Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Molly Ivins owe a debt to Rogers, as does Rush Limbaugh when he's actually funny and not just mean. But in his day, Rogers was bigger than all of them. . . .He starred in dozens of radio broadcasts and 71 movies, and was courted by presidents and legislators. Or, as Rogers himself put it: "Everything is changing. . . . People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke." --John Schwartz, New York Times Book Review
Rogers defended democracy but criticized any system that did not improve the lot of the common man. "So here we are in a country with more wheat and more corn and more money in the bank, more everything in the world," he noted, ". . . and yet we've got people starving. We hold the distinction of being the only nation in the history of the world that ever went to the poorhouse in an automobile." At a meeting of bankers, he famously called them "the finest bunch of shylocks that ever foreclosed a mortgage on a widow's home." . . . Mr. White tells the political side of Rogers' life clearly and well. His use of original primary material in the last two chapters is nothing less than masterful, making the last page one of the most satisfying and poignant endings to any biography I have read recently. --Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, Washington Times
A native of Williamsburg, Virginia, Richard D. White, Jr. is Dean of Louisiana State University's E. J. Ourso College of Business. White is a Pulitzer-nominated political biographer and author of Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long and Roosevelt the Reformer: Theodore Roosevelt as Civil Service Commissioner, 1889-1895.