When W. Kerr Scott (18961958) began his campaign for the North Carolina gubernatorial seat in 1948, his opponents derided his candidacy as a farce. However, the plainspoken dairy farmer quickly gathered loyal supporters and mobilized a grassroots attack on the entrenched interests that had long controlled the state government, winning the race in a historic upset.
In this meticulously researched book, Julian Pleasants provides readers with a close look at the man who dramatically changed North Carolina politics. He traces Scott's productive and controversial political career, from his years as North Carolina commissioner of agriculture, through his governorship (19491953), to his brief tenure as a US senator (19541958). This long overdue examination of the career of W. Kerr Scott illuminates the spirit that transformed an introspective, segregated society dependent on tobacco and textiles into a vibrant, diversified economy at the center of the industrial, banking, and information revolution in the South.
About the Author
Julian M. Pleasants, professor emeritus of history at the University of Florida, is the author of nine books, including Buncombe Bob: The Life and Times of Robert Rice Reynolds and Home Front: North Carolina during World War II.
Table of Contents
1 The Early Years 11
2 The Election of 1948: The First Primary 17
3 The Second Primary, 1948 55
4 Roads and Schools, 1949 71
5 The Referendum 111
6 Crucible of Liberalism: Frank Graham and the 1950 Senate Race 139
7 The Second Primary 163
8 Trials and Tribulation: The Last Two Years, 1951-1953 195
9 The Third Primary, 1954 237
10 The Senate Years, 1954-1958 273
11 Legacy 309