Reviews & Media
“An outstanding account of the life and accomplishments of a man who was my friend and my hero. This book captures Hubert Humphrey’s passion and unwavering commitment to our nation’s highest ideals.” — President Jimmy Carter
“Arnold Offner’s riveting account of the life and leadership of Hubert Humphrey shows us the man and legislator who fought to make the United States a more liberal and humane society and leader of a free and peaceful world order. We miss this ‘conscience of the country’ more than ever now.” — Walter F. Mondale
“Immensely readable . . . As someone who loves reading political history, I find it rich in story, impressive in fact. Read it from front to back and you’ve taken a graphic course in post-WW II American politics. Thanks to Offner, we now have fresh evidence that political greatness is not reserved exclusively for those who come out on top.”— Chris Matthews, author of Bobby Kennedy – A Raging Spirit
“He devoted his life to public service; he was the first major politician of either party to champion the civil rights movement; he was an enormously effective lawmaker who understood compromise; he brought joy and integrity to American democracy. Why isn’t Hubert Humphrey better remembered? With this excellent, thorough, readable biography by Arnold Offner, maybe he will be.” — Evan Thomas, author of Robert Kennedy: His Life, Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World, and Being Nixon: A Man Divided
“A groundbreaking study of an American political giant. Every page crackles with excellent writing, eye-opening research and shrewd analysis.”— Douglas Brinkley, author of Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America
“Well written and exhaustively researched, this is the definitive biography of Hubert Humphrey.” — Irwin F. Gellman, author of The President and The Apprentice: Eisenhower and Nixon, 1952–1961
“Hubert Humphrey was one of the twentieth century’s political giants. In this gracefully written, insightful biography, Arnold Offner has captured the essence of the man and his times.” — Randall B. Woods, author of LBJ: Architect of American Ambition
Press & Media
Hubert Humphrey Biography Is Insightful, Readable, Colin Harrington, The Berkshire Eagle, December 15, 2018, “. . . insightful and revelatory biography” of “one of the great liberal leaders of post-war American life . . . This biography details in very readable and narrative prose how Humphrey had a major influence on American political direction and led an extraordinary life of public service . . .”
Hubert Humphrey: Neocon Before the Neocons, Bill Kaufmann, The American Conservative, December 12, 2018, “. . . [A] very readable and solidly researched biography . . . ”
“Did LBJ Want Nixon to Beat Humphrey?” Eric Black Ink, MinnPost, December 7, 2018, “ . . . an excellent new Humphrey biography (Hubert Humphrey: The Conscience of the Country, published by Yale University Press) that tells this tale of the last days of the 1968 campaign in eye-watering detail, with footnoted sources for every fact.”
“Look Before You Veep: The Political Career of Hubert Humphrey,” Bookforum (December-January 2018/2019), by Gene Seymour. “Reading Arnold Offner’s thorough and sharply balanced account of Humphrey’s life, one is left with the overriding impression that all would have been as merry and bright with Humphrey’s long-term reputation as it was with his personal demeanor if he hadn’t wanted so badly to be president. ‘I’d have liked to see if I could run this country,’ he said to his doctor in 1976 upon being told he would soon die of cancer (which he did two years later).”
1968: Grisly Election, “Lyndon Johnson paid all too much attention to Humphrey, much of it spent tearing him down. In the index of Offner’s biography of Humphrey, ‘Johnson, Lyndon B., HHH tormented by’ gets a line of its own and 15 entries. ‘Humphrey was highly dependent emotionally on Johnson’s goodwill,’ Offner writes. . . . Even when he was the nominee and Johnson had no further power over him, Humphrey was always afraid to incur LBJ’s displeasure, refusing to say he would change his war policy until almost the last days of the campaign.’ “Noemi Emery, The Weekly Standard, November 24, 2018.
Hubert Humphrey and the Unmaking of Cold War Liberalism: A new biography captures how the Minnesota senator and vice president was poised to be liberalism’s conscience but instead played a role in its downfall. “The author . . . supplies all the evidence one could want to prove that Humphrey played a major role in leading his party—and to a degree his country to reject Jim Crow and embrace a number of social-democratic policies.” By Michael Kazin in The Nation, November 12, 2018 (online October 17, 2018).
Collusion Then & Now: A Look Back at the 1920s, Marc Epstein, New English Review (October 2018), “A more recent example of ‘collusion’ is described in Arnold Offner’s new biography of Hubert Humphrey, Hubert Humphrey: The Conscience of the Country. It occurred when Republican candidate Richard Nixon opened a back channel to the South Vietnamese and urged them to hold off making a peace deal until after the election. Nixon promised them a better deal should he win. LBJ kept the information to himself and Humphrey went on to lose to Nixon by a razor thin margin.”
Conversation with Kai Bird at Leon Levy Biography Center, City University of New York, October 3rd, 2018.
“A new biography by historian Arnold Offner, ‘HubertHumphrey, The Conscience of the Country,’ provides a behind-the-scenes look at the events of 1968 as Humphrey and his advisers struggled to deal with this central challenge facing his campaign.”—Iric Nathanson, September 28, 2018, MINNPOST
“Hubert Humphrey, too, led a remarkable life, said Edward Kosner in The Wall Street Journal. [T]he man who lost to Richard Nixon in 1968 was a courageous voice for civil rights long before his party embraced the cause, and he was an effective leader—until he wasn’t. Aside from Vietnam, he was on the right side of history on most issues. “The Book List,” In leaders and runners-up, The Week (August 21, 2018), chosen by Ryan North
“[A]n extraordinary achievement, striking just the right balance between being an authoritative treatment and a fascinating read. You have done justice to a great and remarkable man, and in so doing have created a book right for our times and one that will endure.”—Daniel H. Weiss, President and Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Fall Books from Minnesota Authors We’re Dying to Read” —Mary Anne Grossman, Twin Cities Pioneer Press, September 4, 2018.
“A new (and best-yet) Humphrey biography [that] . . . provides a well-researched and readable rendering of a life that bore much good fruit for this country.”—Lori Sturdevant, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“A painstaking and . . . admiring portrait of a more complex and compelling political figure than the caricature his detractors draw. . . . Humphrey missed the ultimate prize in American politics, but, aside from Vietnam, he was on the right side of history on most issues.”—Edward Kosner, The Wall Street Journal
Interview with the Author on KPFA Radio, 94.1 (interview starts ~20 minutes into the tape), with Mitch Jesrich, August 29, 2018, Hubert Humphrey: Civil Rights Champion and Cold War Warrior
70 years ago, Mayor Humphrey changed the Democratic Party —Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe, July 7, 2018
“‘But [Humphrey’s] speech had galvanized the convention to adopt the first civil rights platform in the Democratic Party’s history,’ as the historian Arnold Offner writes in a new biography of Humphrey.”