Cover image for Warren G. Magnuson and the shaping of twentieth-century America
Warren G. Magnuson and the shaping of twentieth-century America
Scates, Shelby.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Seattle : University of Washington Press, 1998.

Physical Description:
x, 360 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E840.8.M343 S33 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Warren G. Magnuson served as U.S. senator from the state of Washington for six terms. The sheer sweep of his accomplishments is astonishing: authoring the 1964 Civil Rights Act, protecting Puget Sound, saving Boeing for Seattle, championing consumer protection legislation, reorganizing the railroads, and godfathering the electrification of the Pacific Northwest by pressing for Columbia and Snake River dams. He pushed for federal aid to education, kept Pentagon budgets down, and established the National Institutes of Health while arguing throughout the McCarthy era against U.S. isolation from China. He was also a whiskey-and-poker companion to Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson.

Author Notes

Shelby Scates was a prize-winning journalist and columnist for International News Service, United Press International, the Associated Press, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He is the author of War and Politics by Other Means: A Journalist's Memoir.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Written by a Seattle journalist who covered Warren Magnuson's political career for 25 years, this biography of the late senator is a fun read. With straightforward prose and lively anecdotes, Scates chronicles the many accomplishments of this powerful but modest man, who sought to avoid the political spotlight and whose greatest mistake was perhaps not knowing when to quit. "Maggies's" personal life was rather scandalous for the times, but his ability to deliver for the northwest kept him in Congress 45 years. During his tenure he is credited with protecting Puget Sound, saving Boeing for Seattle, and electrifying the Pacific Northwest with the Grand Coulee Dam. At the same time he championed causes that reshaped 20th-century America, such as the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the creation of the National Institutes of Health, and unprecedented consumer protection measures. Drawn largely from Magnuson's own papers, newspaper accounts, and interviews with friends and former associates, Scates's book also owes a debt to Stimson Bullitt's classic work To Be a Politician (1959; reprint 1994). The book will be of interest to general fans of American history and political biography and of importance to those researching these themes; it will have little use in the classroom. For general readers and some undergraduate collections. A. C. Titus; University of Nevada, Las Vegas