Achieve the Honorable: A Missouri Congressman's Journey from Warm Springs to Washington

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Released just before Skelton’s passing on October 28, 2013, Achieve the Honorable is the deeply personal tale of his determined journey from the small town of Lexington, Missouri, to Capitol Hill.

Achieve the Honorable

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By Ike Skelton

Growing up during the Great Depression and World War II, Ike Skelton dreamed of joining the military. That dream was shattered when he contracted one of the most dreaded diseases of the era: polio. Far from abandoning hope, he received treatment at Warm Springs, Georgia, overcame his disability, and went on to become a college athlete, a celebrated lawyer, a Missouri state senator, and a US congressman. Released just before Skelton’s passing on October 28, 2013, Achieve the Honorable is the deeply personal tale of his determined journey from the small town of Lexington, Missouri, to Capitol Hill.

During his thirty-four years in the US House of Representatives, Skelton became known as a bipartisan negotiator and a champion of the Armed Services. Throughout the decades, he helped steer the nation through its most dangerous challenges, from Communism to terrorism; took a leading role in the reform of the Department of Defense; dedicated himself to fulfilling the interests of his constituents; and eventually rose to become chair of the House Armed Services Committee during such pivotal events as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition to detailing Skelton’s political career and its accompanying challenges and triumphs, Achieve the Honorable provides inside glimpses into the lives of political titans such as Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton. Along the way, we are treated to Skelton’s engaging humor and shrewd insight into twentieth- and twenty-first-century US politics.

232 pages / 54 illustrations

Published by The State Historical Society of Missouri and Southern Illinois University Press, hardback, 2013.