Senator Hattie Caraway: An Arkansas Legacy by Dr. Nancy Hendricks takes a fresh, new look at Hattie Caraway, the first woman elected to the United States Senate. Though largely forgotten and often dismissed as 'Silent Hattie' today, Caraway was once one of the most famous women in America, teaching herself how to help desperate people during the Great Depression and World War II. Along with material from previously unseen letters and documents, Senator Hattie Caraway: An Arkansas Legacy includes a rare interview with Caraway's granddaughter, who shares childhood memories of the woman Will Rogers called the 'Senatoress.' Vibrantly read by the author, you'll meet Hattie Caraway and see how her legacy lives on!
©2013 The History Press (P)2013 Nancy Hendricks
I am an avid eclectic reader.
I knew nothing about Caraway until I listened to this book. The book is full in interesting information and appears to be well researched, even includes an interview with Caraway's granddaughter Betsy Hill. I did not give it five stars because the book needs to be better edited and tighten up to reduce the amount of repetition. Hattie Caraway was the first women elected to the U.S. Senate she was in office from 1931 to 1944. Hendricks corrected the misinformation about Caraway such as the common belief she did nothing and voted against going into WWII. She did vote to go into the war and she voted for the lean lease plan. Silent Hattie only gave 14 speeches while in the Senate but was very active on committee and in her second term chaired the agriculture committee and several others. She apparently was very effective working in small groups and one on one to get work done. Hendricks states that the higher institutions of education in Arkansas were about to go under when Caraway stepped in and got contracts for Military training schools on the campuses which saved the institutions. During the depression she brought work programs to Arkansas to repair or build infrastructures that was needed. Loved the description Hendricks provided about Huey Long and Caraway campaigning together for her first election run. Caraway was very helpful to individuals and their problems and helped many. She was active with veterans' affairs and supported the military. Her three soon went to West Point the youngest died while at The Point. The other two went on to become Generals. When Will Roger visited the Senate he had his picture taken with Caraway and signed for her addressing it to Senatoress Hattie, she kept the picture in her office. Caraway was elected to a second term but did not campaign in 1944 for her third term and was defeated. I laughed at some of the old fashion Southern homespun maxims used by Caraway I could just picture her as a typical Southern lady dealing with a room full of cigar smoking men. They say she would get discussed with some of the Senators that gave long speeches about a problem instead of just getting down to business and solve the problem. If you are interested in women's history or government history you will enjoy this book.
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