This year’s One Book, One Community title is Kingfish, by local political historian, Richard D. White, Jr. Librarians braved the rain and wind to announce the book at this past Saturday’s Louisiana Book Festival, and information and events are showing up all over the library’s website.
The One Book, One Community concept started in 1998 with the Washington Center for the Book’s project, “If All of Seattle Read the Same Book”; today, cities and towns all over the nation strengthen their communities through a celebration of reading. 2016 will see a new governor for Louisiana and the election of a new President of the United States; what better way to celebrate democratic tradition than to read about the ways it has been manipulated?
Kingfish details Huey P. Long’s rise to power both as governor and senator, focusing on what he tried to accomplish for Louisiana and for the nation and on the not-always-ethical tactics he used. Material was drawn from interviews with some of Long’s closest cronies and some of his fiercest enemies, in an attempt to let the reader decide whether Long was a simple demagogue, benevolent dictator, or true delegate of Louisiana’s disenfranchised. Either way, the reforms he forced into place to help Louisiana citizens living in poverty made him an enemy of trade unions and big business in the state.
The library has the book available in physical, e-book, and audio formats, available at any branch and through Overdrive; check out a copy today to join in, and take a look at our Kingfish infoguide for more books like this one, as well as info on upcoming and past events, background reads on some of Long’s favorite projects (like education), books and activities for kids and teens, and more.