Category Archives: 1950-1959

1950-1959

Tom Wicker. The Kingpin. New York: William Sloane Associates, 1953.

This is generally considered a  roman à clef of the vicious 1950 Democratic primary campaign for the United States Senate seat held by Frank Porter Graham.  The action is centered in the state capital where Bill Tucker, a political operative, works maniacally to tip the election away from the moderate candidate.  Tucker’s candidate, Colonel Harvey Pollock, lost the initial primary to the incumbent despite possessing the advantages of a good family name, a wealthy, attractive wife, and a substantial campaign chest.  Now it’s the run-off primary and Tucker wants to pull out all the stops to win. When the book opens, Tucker is no Boy Scout, but as he masters dirty dealing and race baiting in his pursuit of victory, he goes past the point of no return. Tucker’s man wins the election, but Tucker has lost his moral compass, the woman he loves, and his future.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1950-1959, 1953, Historical, Piedmont, Wake, Wicker, Tom

Tom Wicker. The Devil Must. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1957.

Just outside of Marion (a town that might be Lumberton, Hamlet, or Rockingham), a farmer is murdered.  A young African American man is accused of the killing, but newspaperman Sandy Martin thinks he is innocent. The murder itself is gruesome, but what Martin uncovers during his investigation is worse: political corruption, personal betrayals, witchcraft. This is a dark picture of a small southern town in the last days of one party rule and Jim Crow.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1950-1959, 1957, Coastal Plain, Mystery, Wicker, Tom