Stuart Symington: A Life by James C. Olson

University of Missouri Press

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Stuart Symington is the first full-length biography of one of Missouri’s most influential and effective twentieth-century political leaders. It tells the story of a remarkable man whose adult life was spent at or near the center of power in America, a man who was talented and ambitious, yet maintained a realistic touch that enabled him to connect with ordinary people.

Highlights of Symington’s long Senate career include his confrontation with Joseph McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954; his conflict with President Eisenhower over the defense budget; his long, agonizing struggle over Vietnam as he changed from a leading hawk to a leading dove; and his role in uncovering information leading to congressional articles of impeachment against President Nixon. He was a serious candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 1960, and for a time appeared to be Kennedy’s choice for vice president.

Well written and exhaustively researched, Stuart Symington: A Life provides a comprehensive portrait of Symington and his exceptional career, shedding new light on presidential administrations from Truman to Nixon, the Department of Defense, the Korean War, and Vietnam. The book also contributes to an understanding of the U. S. Senate, the political history of Missouri, and the relationship between business and government during and immediately after World War II.

About the Author

James C. Olson (1917-2005) was President Emeritus of the University of Missouri, serving from 1977 to 1984. He is the author of numerous books, including The University of Missouri: An Illustrated History (with Vera Olson) and Serving the University of Missouri: A Memoir of Campus and System Administration.

Product Specifications

Published by the University of Missouri Press, hardback, 2003. 568 pages.