Any list of best United States senators would have to include "Young Bob" La Follette (1895-1953), the son of four-time Wisconsin governor and U.S. senator "Fighting Bob" La Follette, who entered politics at the age of thirty, an easy victor in the special primary held to fill his father's seat upon his death. Young Bob served as the principal architect of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, devoting his career to labor rights and civil liberties and writing legislation that endures to the present day.
Patrick J. Maney, a native of Wisconsin, received a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1969 and a doctorate from the University of Maryland in 1976. He worked in the Wisconsin Senate during the late 1970s and taught American history at Tulane University from 1980 to 1998. Currently the chair of the history department at the University of South Carolina, he is the author of "The Roosevelt Presence: The Life and Legacy of FDR" (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).
"Thoroughly researched, carefully analytical ... this outstanding biography is rewarding reading."
—Frank Freidel, "The Washington Post Book World"
"An indefatigable and a keen student of the period in which his protagonist lived and died, the author has brought both compassion and criticism to his exacting assignment. As one who was an intimate friend, adviser, and companion of 'Young Bob,' I find the author's criticisms of the man and his policies cogent, creative, and constructive. Maney has painted 'Young Bob' warts and all, which is precisely the way he would have wanted it done." —Morris H. Rubin, "The Progressive"