• Kingfish

  • The Reign of Huey P. Long
  • By: Richard D. White Jr.
  • Narrated by: Patrick Cullen
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 08-01-06
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.0 (79 ratings)

Regular price: $20.97

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Publisher's Summary

Outrageous demagogue or charismatic visionary? In this powerful new biography, Richard D. White, Jr., brings Huey Long to life in all his blazing, controversial glory. From the moment he took office as governor in 1928 to the day an assassin's bullet cut him down in 1935, Huey Long wielded all but dictatorial control over the state of Louisiana. A man of shameless ambition and ruthless vindictiveness, Huey orchestrated elections, hired and fired thousands at will, and deployed the state militia as his personal police force. And yet, paradoxically, as governor and later as senator, Huey did more good for the state's poor and uneducated than any politician before or since. With Kingfish, White has crafted a balanced, lucid, and absolutely spellbinding portrait of the life and times of the most incendiary figure in American politics.
©2006 Richard D. White, Jr. (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"LSU professor White's latest is lively and well researched." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Tom Streeter on 10-04-12


Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I got through it and I learned things, but there was a real dichotomy between the more-or-less dry recitation of facts and perfunctory retellings of anecdotes and the more forceful editorializing. The editorial position doesn't bother me -- I suspect I'd reach the same conclusions -- but it's how he arrived at them (abruptly) rather than what he said. Some of the strongest writing was in those editorial chapters, but it was all overview without giving any *life* to the facts that support it. I recently finished two biographies of John Brown and I feel like I have a better understanding of who he was as a person and what he was like to be around than I do this man who lived so much more recently.

It feels like White wrote the summary materials first and then decided to relate the minimal number of facts an anecdotes necessary to support the conclusions. And if that seems like I'm just repeating myself, now you know how it feels to listen to this book.

I'm not a stickler for straight chronological narration by any extent, but another thing that annoyed me was White's tendency to silo threads of events. It seems that one of the remarkable things about Huey Long was his ability to handle more than one thing at a time and keep a lot of balls in the air, but that's lost in his telling of the story. Early chapters talk about things that happened much later in life, but when a later chapter deals with the same era it talks about different events and never makes a connection to (if even an acknowledgement of) the other set of events that must have happened around the same time.

If you don't know anything about Huey Long (and I didn't know much when I started) this is probably an OK overview. But I'm going to look for something with a little more meat.

What does Patrick Cullen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He tried to bring some life to some fairly dry stuff. The only thing I'd point out is that the town of Natchitoches, LA is pronounced "NAC-a-towsh" and not the way it was being pronounced in the reading.

Did Kingfish inspire you to do anything?

I'm going to find another biography of Huey Long

Any additional comments?

Not a wasted credit by any means. Just wished it had been better.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By John on 04-24-12

Excellenf follow up to All the King's Men!

I listened to this book after All the King's Men by RPW. I wanted to know something about the real model for Willie Stark. I found that truth was stranger than fiction! What an amazing (and dangerous) character. Excellent writing and performance I thought.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jim on 01-07-12

Timely and gripping

A charismatic populist rises to political power in depression era Louisiana. He has a peerless gift for phrase turning; "more money than you'd need to burn a wet mule" being just one of his finer moments; chutzpah to burn and a supporting cast of characters who are straight of of Southern Gothic central casting. They drink, brawl, bribe, blackmail, embezzle and shoot each other while Huey Long tries to enact an agenda mixing 50% socialist utopianism and 50% cleptocracy. Huey's an obscure figure here in Britain which makes him even more pleasurable discovery as the subject of a biography. At a time when we are once again seeing the rise of political extremism against a backdrop of economic depression this one's thought provoking as well as hugely entertaining

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Hayley McCoy on 11-02-17

fascinating overview of Hueys life!

this is a fascinating review of huey p. longs life and of Louisiana at the time.

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