Page 8


that a few personalities rise to the top and others end up lumped in groups, with nuances getting lost. You will search in vain for a discussion of Southern liberals’ votes, except for perfunctory mentions; some, like Representative Henry B. Gonzalez of Texas, who supported the legislation, are never mentioned. Senator Ralph Yarborough is mentioned, but one is never told what he finally did. Clearly, the authors could not afford to discuss every representative’s and senator’s vote, but I, for one, would like to have in the appendix the roll call votes on passage of the bill in both houses, along with the votes on cloture in the Senate. Then any reader could consult the record to satisfy his or her curiosity, thereby enhancing the book’s value as a reference tool. “I would get Everett Dirksen’s agreement in the evening over bourbon, but the next morning he had forgotten it.” Nicholas Katzenbach If one presence emerges stronger than any other in these pages, it is that of Representative William McCulloch, ROhio, a conservative who believed it was time for a comprehensive civil rights bill and who personally championed and shaped the bill from the House Judiciary Committee onward, resisting any weakening of it during its long stay in the Senate. This is a theme that the Whalens elected to emphasize. Whalen’s Congressional district was the one adjoining McCulloch’s, and although Whalen began his first term after this legislation, I would assume he came, to know the Piqua lawyer well and came to admire him. One purpose of the book must have been to give Bill McCulloch his due; and he deserves it. There are some memorable scenes and quotations. The book helped me gain an appreciation for House Minority Leader Halleck I’d never been able to muster before. “They couldn’t understand that once in a while a guy does something because it’s right,” said Halleck. “Hell, I didn’t do it for political advantage. The colored votes in my district didn’t amount to a bottle of cold pee. ” When all is considered, Halleck’s role in passage of the bill appears as important as anyone’s, perhaps even more important than that of McCulloch. Halleck, as House Minority Leader, had more to lose than did McCulloch, and therefore his risks were greater. Seventy of his fellow Republicans castigated Halleck in a secret meeting for cooperating with President Kennedy on a passable bill. McCulloch was castigated, too, but Halleck had more at stake. The Democratic side contributed noteworthy scenes and quotes, as well. Assistant Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach went the extra mile in the administration’s efforts to socialize with the key Republicans. He regularly enjoyed end-of-the-day cocktails with Senators Dirksen and Roman Hruska. “I would get Everett Dirksen’s agreement in the evening over bourbon,” said Katzenbach, “but the next morning he had forgotten it. I almost ruined my liver in the process.” Hubert Humphrey attested to courting Dirksen “almost as persistently as I did Muriel.” But the ardent overtures paid off. Dirksen provided 27 Republican votes for cloture in the Senate, without which the legislation might well have foundered. Another memorable scene, vintage Lyndon, is of Johnson’s vigorous discussion, in the midst of on official diplomatic function, with Katzenbach over the pros and cons of seeking cloture to end the Senate filibuster. Oblivious to the growing audience, Johnson loudly propounded his views and Katzenbach responded. I did, however, experience some misgivings over scattered diction that, though infrequently occurring, did become a minor irritant. Why refer to civil rights leaders as “true zealots,” with an implication of fanaticism or extremism applied to those who were only asking for equality of treatment? Nor did I know that the Hill Country politician Johnson had a “prairie drawl” until I read this. You also learn of Manny Celler’s “innate deviousness.” Do they mean he was born devious, a genetically-transmitted personality trait? Johnson is termed a “predatory president.” This is certainly the view of a large number of persons, and may or may not be true, but it raises the question of even-handedness when, on the other side, Dirksen is caught in what generously could be called an inconsistency, and the authors call him a “wily leader.” Perhaps I am being picky, scouring a book to find a few examples, but I sense what appears to be a very subtle pattern, probably unintentional, of handling the Democrats by slightly different standards than the Republicans. But these are small lapses that certainly do not mar the integrity of the account, and other readers may pass off these criticisms as undeserved carping. The single mystery surrounding the book is why former Congressman Whalen’s political affiliation is never mentioned in the biographical sketch, in the publicity handout, or on the dust jacket. Certainly a reader deserves to know whether he represented his constituents as a Republican or a Democrat, but this fact is studiously omitted. I had to scurry to a reference book to find out. For those interested, he served as a Republican. I’m sure the authors won’t expect this, but the book gave me a tinge of nostalgia for the good ol’ days of the 1960s, back when remember? our government strove to correct long-existing inequities, instead of creating new ones or restoring the old ones. That’s as good a reason for reading it as any other. This publication is available in microform from University Microfilms International. Call toll-free 800-521-3044. Or mail inquiry to: University Microfilms International, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. complete personal and business insurance ALICE ANDERSON AGENCY 808-A East 46th P.O. Box 4666, Austin 78765 YOLK STAMPS 200 West M a ry Austin, Tx. 78704 Rubber Stamps Can Leave You Speechless! FIN 0 444 AUSTIN’S ONLY RUBBER STAMP STORE! NOTICE Store Hours Mon-Sat 12-6 Phone For Free Catalog THE TEXAS OBSERVER. 21