By Mark Bernstein
This first full-length biography of John Joyce Gilligan argues that Ohio’s sixty-second governor used to be the main major Democrat within the state’s postwar years. however it is greater than the tale of a governor. via painstaking study and dozens of interviews, writer Mark Bernstein paints a vibrant photo of Ohio’s prior and its customers for the longer term that comes with an array of lesser politicians— a few of them outlandish—who aided or adversarial Gilligan’s efforts.
Gilligan didn't intend to have a political occupation. The Cincinnati local resolved to affix a Jesuit seminary, but if Pearl Harbor used to be bombed, he enlisted within the army and received the Silver superstar at Okinawa. whereas on depart, Gilligan married the previous Katie Dixon, whom he had recognized due to the fact that formative years. After the warfare, the Gilligans settled in Cincinnati the place Jack attended graduate university and taught at Xavier college. What drew him into politics used to be Adlai Stevenson’s 1952 presidential crusade, which ignited in Gilligan a trust in politics as public carrier. His provider integrated a decade on Cincinnati’s urban council and his 1964 election to Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” congress because the consultant for Ohio’s First District.
Through those years, Ohio’s Democratic occasion was once principally conservative. It was once ruled by means of five-time governor and two-term senator Frank Lausche. Gilligan allied himself with hard work, minorities, and lecturers to release the lengthy shot senatorial crusade that defeated the incumbent within the 1968 Democratic basic. even though Gilligan misplaced via a slender margin that November, he emerged because the state’s best Democrat and its winning 1970 gubernatorial candidate.
By the Nineteen Seventies, Ohio’s ills have been show up. faculties closed for loss of cash; the seriously polluted Cuyahoga River stuck fireplace. as soon as in place of work, Gilligan financed advancements through maneuvering the state’s first source of revenue taxes via a Republican-controlled legislature. He extended aid for schooling and psychological overall healthiness, whereas constructing the Ohio EPA and crusade finance reform. It used to be a checklist that brought on speak of a Gilligan presidential run in 1976.
Bernstein examines the explanations for Gilligan’s absolutely unforeseen defeat for reelection in 1974 and indicates that in a while, Gilligan steadfastly pursued his dedication to civic engagement via heading the Peace reports application on the collage of Notre Dame, developing the Civic discussion board on the collage of Cincinnati and, in 1999, operating effectively for Cincinnati institution board—at age 78.
John J. Gilligan: The Politics of precept offers a full of life and interesting portrait of a particular determine of postwar American liberalism.
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John J. Gilligan: The Politics of Principle by Mark Bernstein