The Best Lawyer In A One-Lawyer Town: A Memoir
The Best Lawyer In A One-Lawyer Town: A Memoir

The Best Lawyer In A One-Lawyer Town: A Memoir

University of Arkansas Press
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If Frank McCourt had grown up in Depression-era Arkansas, he might write like Dale Bumpers, one of the most colorful and entertaining politicians in recent American history: Atticus Finch with a sense of humor. In The Best Lawyer in a One-Lawyer Town, Bumpers tells the story of his remarkable journey from poverty to political legend, and the result is a great American memoir that is already attracting wide acclaim for its clever Southern charm:

How agreeable to read a serious politicians memoir and find it as full of wit, bite, scorn, compassion, and insight as Dale Bumpers himself. -Norman Mailer

Former Arkansas governor Bumpers served in the Senate for twenty-four years and is currently with a Washington law firm. However, this witty book indicates he may have a new career as a humorist on the printed page. . . . These charming tales from a country lawyer turned national politician are thoroughly enjoyable.-Publishers Weekly

This saga of bootstrapping from an impoverished boyhood to the Arkansas governors mansion and a distinguished senatorial career could easily serve as a manual for the legislatively inclined. But it is the authors total candor, combined with his facility for humor spun out of rural Americas plain talk, that lifts this remembrance well above the ordinary.- Kirkus Reviews

Dale Bumpers was reared during the depths of the Great Depression, in the miserably poor town of Charleston, Arkansas, population 851. He was twelve years old when he saw and heard Franklin Roosevelt, who was campaigning in the state. Afterward, his father assured young Dale that he, too, could be president.

Many years later, in 1970, after suffering financial disaster and personal tragedy, Bumpers ran for governor of Arkansas, starting out with one-percent name recognition and $50,000, most of which was borrowed from his brother and sister. He defeated arch-segregationist Orval Faubus in the primary and a Rockefeller in the general election. He served four years as governor and then twenty-four years in the U.S. Senate. He never lost an election.

Two weeks after Bumpers left the Senate, President Bill Clinton called him with an urgent plea to make the closing argument in his impeachment trial. That speech became an instant classic of political oratory.

The Best Lawyer in a One-Lawyer Town is the work of a master politician blessed with wry insight into character and a gift for rib-tickling tales. It is a classic American story.

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