About the Book
Hubert Humphrey was arguably the most famous liberal of postwar America, and yet today he is largely forgotten. Hubert Humphrey: The Conscience of the Country, Arnold A. Offner’s engrossing new biography – the first since 1984 – of the longtime senator, vice president, and Democratic presidential candidate in 1968, rights that wrong and restores Humphrey to his deserved place in the pantheon of great American statesmen.
Exhaustively researched, Hubert Humphrey: The Conscience of the Country sheds new light on the collusion between President Lyndon B. Johnson and GOP candidate Richard M. Nixon that helped to cost Humphrey the 1968 election. It includes new information on Humphrey’s prescient, early opposition to escalation in Vietnam, his fractious relationship with Johnson, and the many achievements of his post-1970 Senate career.
Humphrey was perhaps best known for his deep and unstinting commitment to civil rights. Hubert Humphrey: The Conscience of the Country provides riveting accounts of his courageous pro-civil rights speech at the 1948 Democratic National Convention, which catapulted him to national fame, and his shepherding of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. The book also shines the spotlight on Humphrey’s oft-neglected accomplishments in foreign policy during the administration of President John F. Kennedy, including proposing and helping to realize the Peace Corps, foreign aid for poorer nations, and the historic Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
The book demonstrates why Jimmy Carter said of Humphrey that he deserved to be president and that, despite never achieving the office, he accomplished as much or more than any modern chief executive. Appearing on the 50th anniversary of the tumultuous and seminal 1968 election, Hubert Humphrey: The Conscience of the Country tells the story of Humphrey’s achingly close loss to Richard M. Nixon.
On a more personal level, the book captures Humphrey’s optimism, humor, and ebullience, qualities sorely missing from the current political discourse. A fierce advocate for his beliefs, Humphrey nonetheless treated his opponents with respect, admiration, and affection, which they returned in kind.